I have been thinking about this a lot lately and it is a very challenging subject. Should someone have the right when very sick or in capable of living "normally" to ask to die so they dont have to suffer no more? Or is it wrong?
Yes? No? Im not sure?
- YesVote A
- NoVote B
- Sitting on the fenceVote C
Most Helpful Girl
I'm a pediatric nurse, so I work with kids, not adults.
I work with a lot of children who have genetic conditions, metabolic conditions, severe cerebral palsy or other brain injuries, etc. Many of these kids have a very low quality of life. They cannot talk, eat (they're fed through a tube), walk, some barely even move their bodies on their own. Some have uncontrolled seizures, some are in a lot of physical pain. Some have respiratory issues, many are frequently hospitalized for aspiration pneumonia (basically, food ends up in their lungs from reflux or vomiting and they end up with a bad infection). And so on.
Some parents choose to make their children "DNR" (do not resuscitate), which means that if their child were to go into severe cardiorespiratory distress or arrest, we wouldn't perform CPR or other invasive life-saving interventions. They understand that their children have a poor quality of life and that prolonging their lives is not necessarily the best or most compassionate thing to do.
Sometimes these children get even sicker than they already are. They may require even more extreme interventions to keep them alive. Sometimes their parents decide, instead of escalating and prolonging their lives and suffering, that the child be made "palliative". The child will die, and the aim of palliative care is to keep them comfortable in the end stage of life.
Palliative care may involve withdrawing life-prolonging care. This can include no longer feeding the child or providing them with IV fluids.
We essentially starve and dehydrate children to death, while trying to keep them comfortable with pain medications like morphine. I've had patients live for weeks like this before finally passing away.
You know what I think that is? It's cruel.
I don't think the parents are cruel for making that decision though, I think it's cruel that we don't have the option to allow the family to say their goodbyes, and to give the child a dose of medication that will allow them to die peacefully and pain-free, surrounded by their family.
The last patient that I had who passed away in this manner... well, his mom wasn't even by his bedside when he finally died. She was out running an errand. When the process takes two weeks, you might have to leave the hospital to do something at some point., and that's what happened in this case.
When people talk about euthanasia, they don't talk about the pediatric population. I'm sure its way more controversial for people2
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