The other day, my aunt died after being on life support for pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) and all sorts of other nasties, including dementia.
I’m not really sad about her death, which I guess makes me a heartless bitch (kidding!), plus we knew it was coming.
Anyhow, right before she died, she said that she wanted to be taken off life support so she could stop suffering and go be with her long-deceased husband in heaven.
Then, she suffered for several miserable hours or days (I don’t actually know how long) before dying.
So that got me thinking. First of all, how much sense does it make to let someone suffer in pain like that after taking them off life support? Dying of a pulmonary embolism hurts. It’s like drowning in air, for hours or days, until your heart stops.
Even if you know your aunt is going to die a miserable death in a hospital room in pain, scared out of her mind because of the dementia that has robbed her of her ability to think and understand the world around her, you can’t give her that last shot of morphine because doing so would be “playing god”.
Secondly, while I would have never in a million years considered robbing my dying aunt of her belief that she’d be meeting her husband in heaven once she dies, she won’t. She’s spent her life being a Christian, going to church, praying before meals.
At least she doesn’t know that it was all for naught.