June 28th, 2009



Dying is weird nowadays. Modern medicine makes it so that many dying people can choose whether they're actually dying or not. I'm not talking about "suicide" at all; I'm talking about maintenance treatment that can be stopped at any time, and often is stopped depending on the quality of life involved. (Arguably suicide under some circumstances is no different ethically, but that's another discussion.) I never really fully realized the extent of that until now. Another dialysis appointment, or no? If so, you live another two days! Why not two more appointments? Hey, want a feeding tube too? This can continue indefinitely, but again, depending on the quality of life involved, it can also just be stopped at any time.

Another aspect I never realized is that the person being treated is sometimes completely cognizant of all that's going on, and is in fact the one making the decisions. I can't imagine being in those shoes, but I suppose it's easier to decide for yourself than to decide for other people.

Anyway. I'm flying to Florida tomorrow to be with my family. And possibly to see my grandmom, and possibly not, depending on how the next 18 hours go for her. Either way is OK, I think.