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Darwinism is dead...

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My SIL is a dr., and as such, has seen the gamut of EOL situations. He has often said that he felt he was not doing his patients in vegetative states any favors by keeping them alive, when there was no hope whatsoever of them living ANY kind of life (we're talking people who are "alive" through the use of ventilators and feeding tubes, etc.) SIL says that it is almost ALWAYS the family, just not being able/willing to say "enough already". He also said that many people who had no kind of 'faith' in an afterlife had a MUCH more difficult time letting their LO's go. Just observation, not making a judgment call.

As long as people don't make their EOL plans known, or choose to be kept alive through gargantuan efforts, then we'll continue to see people living artificially long lives. I don't think there's any "society" in there. It's the availability of medical technology that allows people to chose to live far beyond an expected age. Eventually, we all will die. And yes, that does mean a lot of stress and strain for people who are trying to care give to terminal family members--but they have the right to chose to do whatever is possible to keep them alive--zero quality of life or not.

Maybe the hope that one more pill, one more procedure or surgery will save them...I don't know. "Hope springs eternal" really applies here.
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Just ran into this quote (yes, it’s zombie apocolypse fiction),
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Perhaps, society as a whole is unhappy with life lived, or perhaps there is a need to eke out one more moment, a possibility of pleasure...
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I feel as if I'm sinking in quicksand when I think about the question and the only comment, without ANY background or personal information. These kinds of generalized, broad assertions are difficult to refute when they're nonspecific.

Moving on....
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This comes down to education and communication with patient, family and physician. I pray that when the time comes I will have the strength to abide by my loved ones wishes.
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Phinsmom, are you caring for someone who is terminally ill? Do you have help in doing so?

I don't think that " society" has decided this. There are situations where someone steps in to a caregiving situation and gets in over their head. There are ways to remedy this.

Tell us more.
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Darwinism taken to the extreme would see premature babies left outside of incubators, car crash victims picked up by hearses instead of ambulances, and hospital ERs put out of business as we would instead send critically ill people of all ages home to recover or die as nature intended. Where do you feel we should draw the line?
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Since it acquired the means to do so, is when society decided that keeping terminally ill people alive was important.

I dispute that society has decided that the needs of the terminally ill are *more* important than others'. Who gets the liver transplant, for example?
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Its not so much Society as the Medical profession. My Uncle was told they could try one more thing for his lung cancer. TG he could make up his own decisions. If he couldn't my Aunt would have the treatment. My Uncle said No, it was his time.
A person who has found they have a life threating desease needs to put their Ducks in a row. DPOAs in place. DNR. Will updated. Even what they want for a funeral. Hopefully they will pull thru and non of that is needed but without it the Medical profession makes the decisions. My daughter says never use a feeding tube on an elderly person. Daughter says that family sometimes keeps a person alive as long as possible because the person is contributing to the household.
It really depends on who is making the decisions. There is Hospice who will make the person comfortable and allow them to go with dignity.
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I don’t know what event in your life has prompted this question. I can only offer my own humble opinion. No one has a crystal ball that can predict when and if a person who is considered terminal will pass. There have been occasion, albeit not frequently, that a person upon whom all hope has been given up, has recovered and lived on. Even if an entire family agrees that a beloved member is terminal, there may be one of them who holds out hope that there IS hope. Even when a family member is brain dead and being kept alive on machines, it’s not easy for the family to wholesale accept that their loved one will never recover and they just can’t let go. In theory, if one has  never been through this, it is easy to generalize. 

I don’t believe that the medical professionals or family members keep someone whose been diagnosed as terminal alive to be cruel.

What you’ve posted is a blanket statement and I must disagree. If that were true, there would be no research leading to discoveries of possible cures for everything from the common cold to cancer.
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