Category Archives: Right to Die

Bowie Tseng Witnessed Life & Death Firsthand, “Leaving is What He Wanted to Do the Most”

The interviews with those considering euthanasia, whose been in ailing health conditions, from the Entertainment Sections, translated…

Bowie Tseng in Basel, Switzerland, witnessed the 104-year-old Australian biologist, Goodall, ending his own life by euthanasia, in the final three days of his life, she’d stayed with him, ate with him, held conversations, in that final moment, she was, filled with ambiguity inside, “in just one hour, he will be gone, and I’d messed up the time he should be spending with him family, because of work, until he’d finally asked those around him, ‘what are we waiting for?’, the employees of the clinic told him, ‘there are still forms we need to fill out’, he’d sighed, ‘there are always forms to be filled out’, at that moment, I’d, let go, I shouldn’t use my own sorrows, to interpret him leaving the world happy, that’s what he wanted to do the most, as a bystander, we should, give him our blessings.”

獨家/親眼目睹百歲生態學家安樂死 曾寶儀:巨大震撼!photo fo Bowie Tseng interviewing the elderly man in Switzerland, from UDN.com…

Bowie Tseng took the documentary filming, in the past few months, she’d trekked to Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Ireland, to interview those who’d lost their loved ones by euthanasia, and in February, she’d also, interviewed the activist for euthanasia in Taiwan, Dar-Jen Fu, “he’s weak, needed morphine to stay alive, in the interview sessions, he was still full of responsibilities, claimed the purpose of his wanting his own death.” And, before she set foot to go to Switzerland, she’d thought of a million questions to ask Goodall, the biggest shock for her, “I’d never interviewed anybody who’d determined her/his own date of death, how do I go about approaching him, how do I ask my question, to not be offensive toward him, how do I, say goodbye.”

Bowie Tseng said, “He’s older than I imagined him to be, I’d held onto the oldest hands I’d ever shaken, with the years on them, wrinkles, spots, and because of muscular atrophy, the joints were very apparent, but he was still very strong. I’d gone with him and his family to the botanic gardens for a stroll, he’d petted the plants along the way, I’d asked him if he was saying goodbye to them all, and he’d asked me, ‘why would I?’, at that very moment, I’d found, all the questions I’d wanted to ask him to lose meaning, because he doesn’t care anymore.”

There’d been war between the pro and anti euthanasia groups, Bowie interviewed a British elderly woman, who was born with severe handicap, and in the entire interview, she’d needed the respirator connect to her, and every fifteen minutes, the nurse had needed to help get the phlegm out of her lungs, but because of her optimism toward life, and her two marriages, despite how bad her conditions for staying alive was, she’d spoken up against euthanasia, and her speech had helped altered British law, and, gotten the parliament to vote against euthanasia. And BBC filmed the life of “Simon”, the businessman who had ALS, who’d not progressed to the point when euthanasia should be a consideration for him, he was accompanied by his own wife, to have it, as the footages come out into the open, it’d shaken up the entire world. Bowie Tseng said, “I’d interviewed his wife this time, and she’d told me she was regrettable for doing this, she believed, that death is not the business of the individual, although you may be ill, but you still don’t have the rights, to take away the time your family gets to spend with you.”

something used, to show that you don’t want to be resuscitated, photo from online…

After this experience, Bowie Tseng said, “I will work hard, to cherish my life every day, every gathering with friends, every meal, I will work hard, to make all of this meaningful.”

And so, because this woman was personally interacting with these individuals who are in the process of getting euthanized, it’d impacted her, on a personal level, and, she’d bore witness to how bad someone was living, and yet, still was against euthanasia, this is probably going to be, the most memorable experience of interview that this woman will ever have in her entire life.

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Filed under Choices, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Euthanasia, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Values

Wanting to Grow Old with Children Accompanying

The trials someone faces toward the end of a loved one’s life, translated…

“We’d all wanted to hold our children’s hands, to watch them get older, but unfortunately, fate had other plans………” as Shu-Mei talked, she’d started, sobbing. She’d shared with the patients and the families, her own experiences, “Do we, or don’t we resuscitate?”, that is the final questions, that a lot of the terminally ill patients will face, it’s also, a heart wrenching memory for Shu-Mei, her husband had been gone sixteen years now, and yet, that intense heartache had, stayed.

Her husband was diagnosed with a rare condition when he was forty-six, he’d become bedridden for over a decade, and, couldn’t control anything, he’d already, become so discouraged, to the end, when he was on the respirators, he’d still had difficulties breathing, the doctor said, that only a tracheotomy can save his life, and, her husband wanted to die, and they’d, turned down the doctor’s offers, but, as their daughter came to see him with her five-month-old son, it’d, sparked his will to live again.

The doctor saw how he was hesitant, gave them three weeks to think about it, during which time, Shu-Mei lost a lot of weight, the whole family was living under this, dark cloud. If they’d decided to put him on a respirator, the patient will be living, off of the respirators; if they don’t, then, very shortly thereafter, he would die, he will, NEVER see her husband again. Shu-Mei was confused on what she should do, her husband asked her, “Do you want me to die?” She’d naturally not be willing to let him go, started crying, and became, silent, and respected whatever he’d, decided. It’s just, that during these years counting down toward death, he’d always worn his frowns, and, gotten stuck between life and death, don’t’ know if he’d, regretted it?

“Back then, the medication had yet to pass the coverage of the health insurance plans, it was very expensive, there were the expandable items of phlegm tubes, the diapers, the feeding tubes, the caretaker’s fees………”, Shu-Mei told me, even as her whole family started saving up, it wouldn’t be possible for them, to pay for his care, she’d needed to work days and nights, and his daughter part-time through school, and they’d needed monetary assistance from their families, friends, relatives every now and then too. For the years, the medical bills, she’d, stuffed them all inside a drawer, and after her husband passed, she’d started, sorting through them, and, the amount exceeded five million dollars, she could bought a house with the money saved up. “Although taking him off life support only took a total of fifteen minutes, but there’s, such a high price for it, and, as life continued, and the patient had, suffered, it’d also, put the loved ones under great duress.” Shu-Mei told me, the pain, got in too deep, into her heart, that it’d, slowly, suffocated her.

A woman in the support group, whose husband was ill, started, sobbing after she’d heard, she said that they’re currently, facing this difficult choice, especially that they didn’t have enough money saved up, and she worried that she’s not as strong as Shu-Mei had been. Another woman looked worried, that her husband just had an intubation, at the age of thirty-something, he’d, fallen very ill, her mother-in-law loved this youngest son the most, and couldn’t stand seeing him die, and even if her son can no longer call her mom, even if he’s kept alive by those machines, she was willing, to keep him alive. It’s just, that the wife found, that her husband, when his own mother wasn’t looking, he’d tried, to disconnect himself from life support, seeing how twisted and in pain her husband’s face became, she said, that there isn’t a day she hadn’t cried.

Shu-Mei patted her gently on the shoulders, and cried with her, “We all want to grow old with our children, having each other with, but, fate wouldn’t allow it”. If it’s already set, then, just live with it, everything shall pass eventually. Shu-Mei consoled with the woman in her support group.

This, is a hard issue to deal, to let go, or to keep hanging on, but, when the patient is suffering so much, it’s only the right thing to do, to unplug her/him off life support, but, a part of you just, wasn’t willing, to let someone you love die, and so, you have to, struggle hard over the matter, and, eventually, you will, realize, that letting the person you loved dearly die is the best choice, because, keeping the person alive, means prolonging their sufferings, and, nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer toward the end.

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Filed under Life, Loss, Memories Shared, Moral Responsibilities, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life

Wanting to Grow Old with Children Accompanying

The trials someone faces toward the end of a loved one’s life, translated…

“We’d all wanted to hold our children’s hands, to watch them get older, but unfortunately, fate had other plans………” as Shu-Mei talked, she’d started, sobbing. She’d shared with the patients and the families, her own experiences, “Do we, or don’t we resuscitate?”, that is the final questions, that a lot of the terminally ill patients will face, it’s also, a heart wrenching memory for Shu-Mei, her husband had been gone sixteen years now, and yet, that intense heartache had, stayed.

Her husband was diagnosed with a rare condition when he was forty-six, he’d become bedridden for over a decade, and, couldn’t control anything, he’d already, become so discouraged, to the end, when he was on the respirators, he’d still had difficulties breathing, the doctor said, that only a tracheotomy can save his life, and, her husband wanted to die, and they’d, turned down the doctor’s offers, but, as their daughter came to see him with her five-month-old son, it’d, sparked his will to live again.

The doctor saw how he was hesitant, gave them three weeks to think about it, during which time, Shu-Mei lost a lot of weight, the whole family was living under this, dark cloud. If they’d decided to put him on a respirator, the patient will be living, off of the respirators; if they don’t, then, very shortly thereafter, he would die, he will, NEVER see her husband again. Shu-Mei was confused on what she should do, her husband asked her, “Do you want me to die?” She’d naturally not be willing to let him go, started crying, and became, silent, and respected whatever he’d, decided. It’s just, that during these years counting down toward death, he’d always worn his frowns, and, gotten stuck between life and death, don’t’ know if he’d, regretted it?

圖/豆寶illustration from the papers…

“Back then, the medication had yet to pass the coverage of the health insurance plans, it was very expensive, there were the expandable items of phlegm tubes, the diapers, the feeding tubes, the caretaker’s fees………”, Shu-Mei told me, even as her whole family started saving up, it wouldn’t be possible for them, to pay for his care, she’d needed to work days and nights, and his daughter part-time through school, and they’d needed monetary assistance from their families, friends, relatives every now and then too. For the years, the medical bills, she’d, stuffed them all inside a drawer, and after her husband passed, she’d started, sorting through them, and, the amount exceeded five million dollars, she could bought a house with the money saved up. “Although taking him off life support only took a total of fifteen minutes, but there’s, such a high price for it, and, as life continued, and the patient had, suffered, it’d also, put the loved ones under great duress.” Shu-Mei told me, the pain, got in too deep, into her heart, that it’d, slowly, suffocated her.

A woman in the support group, whose husband was ill, started, sobbing after she’d heard, she said that they’re currently, facing this difficult choice, especially that they didn’t have enough money saved up, and she worried that she’s not as strong as Shu-Mei had been. Another woman looked worried, that her husband just had an intubation, at the age of thirty-something, he’d, fallen very ill, her mother-in-law loved this youngest son the most, and couldn’t stand seeing him die, and even if her son can no longer call her mom, even if he’s kept alive by those machines, she was willing, to keep him alive. It’s just, that the wife found, that her husband, when his own mother wasn’t looking, he’d tried, to disconnect himself from life support, seeing how twisted and in pain her husband’s face became, she said, that there isn’t a day she hadn’t cried.

Shu-Mei patted her gently on the shoulders, and cried with her, “We all want to grow old with our children, having each other with, but, fate wouldn’t allow it”. If it’s already set, then, just live with it, everything shall pass eventually. Shu-Mei consoled with the woman in her support group.

This, is a hard issue to deal, to let go, or to keep hanging on, but, when the patient is suffering so much, it’s only the right thing to do, to unplug her/him off life support, but, a part of you just, wasn’t willing, to let someone you love die, and so, you have to, struggle hard over the matter, and, eventually, you will, realize, that letting the person you loved dearly die is the best choice, because, keeping the person alive, means prolonging their sufferings, and, nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer toward the end.

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Dragged On, by This Ailing Body of Mine…

This would be, taking, someone ELSE’s persona…

Dragged on, by this ailing body of mine, I feel, so incarcerated, so trapped, inside, this body that no longer feels like mine anymore, and yet, because I can still “function” (meaning that I still got a pulse, a VERY STRONG one to boot!!!), the doctors, they wouldn’t, consider, letting me die a good death.

And, recently, I’d had yet, ANOTHER stroke, that rendered me, handicapped, and, I’d started, needing the help, to wheel me everywhere,, and, I’m still trapped, by this ailing body of mine.  Dragged on, by this ailing body of mine, why, oh why, can’t I just die?  I’d been made to suffer, since the moment that my dearly beloved family told the doctors to SAVE me, but, at the price and the cost, of losing MY dignity as a human being, because I’m totally, incapable of performing the MOST basic of all functions in life, like I’d needed someone ELSE, to WIPE my ass for me, someone, to bathe me too!

Dragged on, by this ailing body of mine, why must I be?  I’m just, too tired of, relying on EVERYBODY to take care of me, I don’t want to live like this anymore, and yet, I can’t, be euthanized yet, because, save for this problem of immobility and loss of speech, caused by my stroke awhile ago, every OTHER part of me, is still, quite healthy still………

 

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Filed under Basic Human Rights, Choices, Downward Spiral, Euthanasia, Expectations, Issues of the Society, Letting Go, Life, My Thoughts on Various Issues, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Die, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life

An Eighty-Year-Old Man Stabbed His Ailing Wife to Death, He Was Indicted

Burdens on the sole care provider, and this time, he cracked, and, did something that was, beyond repair, from the Newspapers, translated…

An elderly veteran, Ku felt bad over his wife’s encephalitis which caused her to be bedridden long-term, feared that she will never walk again, he’d gotten rid of the nurse’s aide, used a fruit knife, stabbed his own wife to death, then, attempted to commit suicide by slashing his own abdomen, but was saved in time; the Shihlin District Attorney’s Office prosecuted him on murder charges, but, the D.A. also asked the judge to consider the elderly man’s age, along with his motives for committing the murder, to find a suitable punishment for what he’d done.

Mr. Ku is already eighty-four years old, married to his wife who was sixty-nine for over forty years, and they’d never had a fight; nine years ago, Ku’s wife started showing signs of dizziness and had fainting spells, last year in August, because of viral encephalitis, she was hospitalized, and became a resident at the MacKay Memorial Hospital in Danshui.

Last year during the noon hours of September17th, Ku gave Yeh, the bedside assistant for his wife an errand to run, used a fruit knife, and jabbed his wife in the chest region, then, slashed his own abdomen region; Ku’s neighbor came to visit in the afternoon, as he pulled back the curtain, he saw what had happened, he’d immediately called up the nurses.  Ku’s wife, because of the collapse in her left lung, blood had filled up her chest cavities, she’d died of respiratory failure; after emergency resuscitation, Ku’s life was saved.

On the day of the stabbing, the D.A. came to inquire at the hospital, and Ku told of why he’d stabbed his own wife in a very calm and collected manner, and told the D.A., “Even though I’m a murderer, but don’t be afraid of me”, and begged him, “Do give me the death sentence”, and hoped, that he could “follow” his wife.

And because Ku the elder was old, with physical injuries, and didn’t show a risk of taking off, he wasn’t taken into custody, and now, his son looks after him.  Ku’s children no longer wanted to talk of how their father murdered their mother, and feared, that their father might be suicidal again.

And while the D.A. inquired the happenings of that day with Ku, they were extremely careful toward his physical and mental wellbeing, and, although Ku no longer talked of “following his wife off”, but he was clearly depressed.  The members of the legal world stated, that murder is a serious crime that can get one the death sentence, a life sentence, or over ten years’ jail sentence, and even though, Ku was over eighty, there may be a reduction to the time he will be serving, but, there would be NO delayed serving his jail sentence.

And so, another case of a mercy killing, because the man didn’t want to see his own wife suffer any longer, he’d killed her, out of love, and that is still considered murder, after all, he did, take the life, of another, but, it was out of love, and so, the D.A. was lenient on the asking of the sentence for this man.  And this also shows that there is still a TON of stress on the primary caretakers of the elderly, and in these cases, the primary caretakers are usually the spouses, and, the families need to be more in-tune with the sole caretaker’s mental states, to prevent these sorts of things from occurring again.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Euthanasia, Lives Lost, Moral Responsibilities, Murder, On Death & Dying, Right to Die, Social Awareness, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, White Picket Fence

A Battle Won, in Legalizing Euthanasia

KUDOS, for the right to D-I-E, from NBCNEWS.com, by: B. Briggs…

The text came from the bedroom above. “Are you coming up?” asked his brother, Dan Diaz.

Adrian Diaz felt nervous about heading to the second story where his sister-in-law, Brittany Maynard, 29, was about to purposefully swallow a prescribed, lethal medication. They had grown close since her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.

He climbed the stairs on Nov. 1 in the Portland, Oregon home Maynard had rented with her husband, Dan, so she could access that state’s Death With Dignity law. Adrian saw Brittany in her bed. She immediately rose and stepped to him. She hugged him, said she loved him, then gave the Bay Area lobbyist a solemn task.

“If you’re willing, I really feel it’s important to get the law changed in California. We shouldn’t have had to move from California.”

His answer was instant: “Absolutely. I’ll do everything I can.” The words made her smile.

Maynard asked the same of her mother and of Dan. After forging those pacts, she took her prescribed medications. Five minutes later, she was asleep. Thirty minutes later, she was gone.

“It was a promise to her,” Adrian recalled in an interview with NBC News. He works in the government relations office at the University of California, Berkeley. He also officiated their wedding. “We all believed she deserved to die at home in the state where she was born, in the city where she shared a home with her husband.”

On Thursday, nearly three months after her death, Dan and Adrian Diaz were busy fulfilling their pledge, meeting with a New Jersey legislator to push for the introduction of a death-with-dignity bill there. On Sunday, the brothers also met with a New York lawmaker to pitch the same action.

Currently, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana and New Mexico authorize aid in dying. In the aftermath of Maynard’s massively viral campaign to expand laws for people like her, legislators in at least 13 other states and Washington, D.C. have revealed plans to introduce similar bills.

For the Diaz brothers, the campaign trail is fresh. Mourning has consumed the family, and still does. But now, they are feeling her presence all over again as they make their case to lawmakers.

In those meetings, Dan Diaz, 43, often pulls out photos showing the famous smile of his late bride, or images of a happy couple who already knew their time together was ticking down.

“Her instructions to me were to see this through – and pride is what it comes down to,” Dan Diaz told NBC News. “When I find myself talking to a legislator, I’m proud of what she started.

“People have referred to, ‘Oh, she was courageous.’ Yes, I guess. But that was just Brittany being Brittany. That was nothing out of the ordinary. She would speak up for something that she didn’t think was right and wanted to change.

“So the emotion for me is: this is a legacy for her. She began this conversation, one voice triggering all this. Now, I’m proud to bring it to fruition,” added Diaz, who remains on temporary leave from his job as an executive in the consumer packaged goods industry.

In their stops so far, the Diaz brothers still feel momentum, they say, that she created with a series of globally viewed videos, produced months and weeks before her death. Dan says he looks forward to speaking with politicians who oppose his views: “Hey, maybe I’m missing something. It’s like: Convince me. I want to hear it. But so far, most of their arguments are based on fear, and that’s not any way we should make any public policy.

“People are afraid to talk about the topic of death.”

And tactically, the brothers believe Maynard was right about the political battleground she mapped in her final minutes.

“As California goes, so goes the nation,” Adrian Diaz said.

“California, if we get that one on the books, and if we can get New York, it’s kind of a domino effect,” Dan Diaz added. “The other states will recognize that all of the fears raised by the opposition, about slippery slopes and all that, the populations will rise and say: No, there isn’t that concern here.”

According to a HealthDay/Harris Poll released in December, Americans support by a 5-to-1 margin (74 percent in favor, 14 percent against), that terminally ill adults with no option for recovery should be able to access aid in dying.

In California, two state lawmakers have announced that they expect to file a death-with-dignity bill before the end of January.

“Any of us could find ourselves in this predicament,” Dan Diaz said. “Get the laws on the books and let the decision be between the patient working with their doctors.

“It’s certainly not something a legislator or a politician or even a church official should weigh in on. That is part of our message.”

And so, this, is a STEP forward, on human rights, because we should have the rights to decide, IF we want to undergo further treatments for our debilitating conditions, or IF we just want to, leave, without dignities intact, and this woman had the control over H-O-W it’d ended in the U.S., so, this, is still, a step forward on the respects toward human lives.

 

 

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Dignity vs. Force Feeding, the Challenges in Caring for the Severely Demented Elderly

On giving them their last dignities, and on what should be considered, in the issues, translated…

Ms. Chen’s father had been demented for years on end, slowly, he’d become, severely demented, and the family members had come back from overseas to be with me more and more recently, all of us wanted my father to follow the dignity method, to finish his life’s journey.

One day, Ms. Chen brought her father’s medical records to my clinic, primary, it’s about her father’s food intake.  The family learned from the information they’d researched, that the severely demented will face up to the problems of not having enough nutritions, and difficulties in feeding, and knew, that in other countries, installing a feeding tube is not recommended, because the patient won’t choke less, and what’s more importantly, this doesn’t elongate the lifespan of the patients by that much either.

The Family Felt an Increase of Guilt When Others See What They’d Done

Ms. Chen and her families have an in-depth understanding for taking care of the demented elderly, actually, they need not come all the way to the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital to see me, but she’d gone to an assortment of university medical hospitals, and, all the doctor they’d consulted all used a threatening tone of voice, “You are starving your father to death, you know that, right?” it’s just, that she and her family saw how her father was slowly losing the remaining of dignity, with the installation and pulling out of the tubes, it’s too heart wrenching for them to watch it, and plus, they’d looked into the documents, and there is NO support for giving artificial nutrition to severely demented elderly, because they can’t prove its benefits, and even if a feeding tube is installed, it should be focused on the stomach, but, the doctors didn’t communicate with the family members, this possible option.

In this visit, I completely support and affirmed Ms. Chen and her family’s ways, using their filial piety mindset, there’s NO considerations of starving their father to death.  Ms. Chen felt relieved, “We all hoped that my father could have his dignity, as he finishes up with life, and, the family had given up time from work, to be by his side, wanting to give our father the dignity he rightfully deserved.  But, hearing all the other doctors’ words, we’d all fallen into the fogs of worry and sorrows.”

This visit had given Ms. Chen and her family the strength, to let them know, that what they’re doing was right.  But, a couple of months later, Ms. Chen still came back, and it’s the same question again, they’d found a way from the information out of this nation, but they couldn’t find a hospital who’s willing to help them.

The problems of feeding for severely demented elderly, is the challenge of caretaking and morality of medicine, the foreigners had been arguing about it for a very long time too, and, the most common concern was, they’d worried if the patients are being starved to death?

Installing a Feeding Tube Should Not Prolong the Suffering

There’s the same arguments for patients with serious stomach or esophageal cancers, if force-fed, the patients may be in pain, because they can’t alleviate the pains in their digestive tracks, but if they’re not force fed, then, they’d be malnourished.  Facing to this challenge, the reviewing of past researches is vital, based off of the past researches conducted, they’d found: even if the feeding tubes are installed, the chances of survival for the patients still doesn’t show that much different.  Meaning, that having a feeding tube does not lengthen one’s life, and by not placing one in also doesn’t speed up death.

The severely demented patients, due to their activity levels, along with other ailments, the daily caloric need intake is lower than regular adults, and, they would require less food.  There are reports in the States that suggested to use comfort feeding only, when the patient is lucid and aware, feed them through the mouth in smaller amounts, in one hand, the food can be satiating, and secondly, this wouldn’t cause the risk of choking and coughing.  This also adds to the level of difficulty for caretaking, to find foods that aren’t easily choked on, and in the limited diets, provide the patients with higher amounts of calories.

Feeding through the mouhth is the important needs of demented patients, in force feeding completely, using of tubes, on a level, it’d taken away the patients’ sense of achievement.  The more important key point to consider in this is, under this circumstances, if feeding tubes are installed, to keep the caloric intake one needs, is this saving life, or prolonging suffering?

With the Help from Professionals, Returning the Dignity Back to the Patients

Here, I’m merely stressing, that family members who chose the feeding tube method is not wrong, because the care of these patients should be decided by the entire family.  The primary caretaker will need a TON of social support, what’s more is, through the professional services, help maintain the dignity of life, and not adding to the sense of guilt of the family members.

And so, there would come a time, when one’s demented parents will be forced to be placed in these options, and, a lot needs to be considred, from the humanitarian angle, from the medical angle, along with from the morality standpoint, and, until the members of the family can sort through all these issues, and come to a unified conclusion, the care of the demented elderly won’t be perfect.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Moral Responsibilities, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Die, Social Issues