Thursday, March 27, 2014

Medical Conundrum

A dear dear friend is dying of cancer.  She was diagnosed less than 2 weeks ago and had a huge surgery yesterday.  She began bleeding post surgery and was given a 20% chance to live.  Living would mean a feeding tube for the rest of her life and only a vague consciousness of the world around her.......yet the surgery was done, giving her a 50% chance of "living".

Situations like these are ones I confess I struggle with mightily.  My friend is a widow who desperately misses her husband who died about 3 years ago.  She is a strong believer in the afterlife and has a strong desire to go there, rather than to continue on suffering here on earth.  However the doctors have taken oaths to keep people like my friend alive regardless of the quality of the life she will have.  

I can't imagine the thinking process that a medical person must have to go through in life and death situations when that person has a chance to extend a life that will not be worth living and yet cannot choose death for the patient even if it is the best thing in the long run.  How do surgeons and doctors and nurses cope emotionally with events like this one? I couldn't handle it.  I admire them because they do their best in tricky instances like this where no decision is completely right or wrong, where the patient is going to pay a heavy price regardless of the outcome...death or a near vegetative state.

Sigh.....all I can do is ask God sincerely if he couldn't just release my friend from the horror of continued life on this earth.  I don't know what else I could pray for.  It is the most merciful thing I can come up with but it is up to God to do what is best.  Sometimes I have no idea why keeping my friend alive could be the best thing.  I am grateful it isn't up to me to decide her fate in the end.

Please God take care of my dear friend.

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