Ready, steady, gone.

Charles 3 Comments


“Most of us do not want to die in the ICU tethered to tubes — not the quality of life we expect. Yet only 30 percent of us have made arrangements to prevent this from happening. Death and dying is a tough subject for us to broach. Be aware that very few of us will die in our sleep — most have a slow sometimes excruciating decline to death.

“I bet you didn’t know that less than one in seven CPR recipients live to leave the hospital (don’t feel bad, many doctors don’t know this). Other studies show that few elderly patients or patients with cancer live to leave the hospital after CPR. Despite the fact that CPR was developed to resuscitate patients in cardiac arrest, CPR is mandatory to rescue the terminally and critically ill, unless there is an advanced DNR directive. One in five people die in intensive care with the last few months of life being expensive, painful, and futile exercises in medical care.”



  1. Charles

    Thank you for that information. I have long been trying to complete an advanced directive but am flipping flummoxed. One of the categories to complete is a list of treatments you don’t want. Now, as I don’t know what diseases or ailments I am likely to get – and I’m not a doctor – how am I to know what hideously-invasive-and-life-prolonging-at-all-costs methods and interventions they have come up with? Good old CPR seems like a gentle old friend compared with some of the newer treatments I hear about.

    How does one get this across to the medical world then? The ‘I don’t want life at all costs…I want quality of life over quantity? I suppose I could have that tattooed across my bosoms but otherwise…

  2. Charles

    Well said, Quokkagirl, that’s precisely my stumbling block; for all I’ve tried to look into it, I’m still not even quite sure of the difference between an advance directive and a living will.

    Why has it got to be so complicacted? All we’re trying to communicate to these ghostly figures from the future, with their intstruments of torture, is ‘please let me die in peace’. Why must we have to defend ourselves against an unknowable attack just because it’s the default action? For all we know, we may be stopping themn from doing us some good!

    I do carry with me a card that says ‘please don’t put anyone else’s organs inside me, or mine in anyone else’, or words to that effect, supplemented with a bit of explanation, but that’s another story. I just hope the state doesn’t declare it owns our organs to do with as it sees fit, as it keeps threatening to do.

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