Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quantity or Quality of life?

I say quality above all other things. Why the question? My grandfather had a stroke tonight. They don’t think he will make it. Doctors think he is in a coma now. Knowing my father and his sister, they will keep grandpa alive on a ventilator until who knows when. Extending life to as long as possible, because long life is a good thing supposedly. Being religious folk as they are, they will pray for a miracle I’m sure.

My grandma who has been in a nursing home for about a year now, diagnosed with Alzheimer disease has slowly lost all her memories over the past 4-5 years. Grandpa has been looking after her all this time.

It’s a sick twist of fate that grandpa who has taken care of his wife for so long, will likely pass away sooner than his wife. Grandma, of course doesn’t know who anybody is, and has no understanding of life around her now.

We had a family friend who had a stroke and this lady was in a coma for over 8 years before her body gave out. In my mind, if upper brain functions aren’t there anymore, there really isn’t a point in continuing. People are defined by who they are by personality, humour, ideas, etc, and if those distinctly human traits gone, there really is nothing left but a shell. By all means, if lower brain functions are still going. Good for you. But if that’s all that’s left, what is the point? Really?

I would much prefer to live a short full life, than a long meaningless existence on a hospital bed for the remainder of my natural life. If a stroke comes, please hit in the lower brain stem. At least it’s done and over with. The only suffering that happens is suffering for the living. Those with no upper brain activity don’t know they are lying around for years on end, while the family is suffering at the bedside. No thanks.

Steam of consciousness writing, not even sure if it makes sense….

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