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Mark in Albany's comments:
Excellent points. I feel for you and your grandmother, in part because it is such a common experience. What is less widespread, but I believe very necessary, are some clear expressions about the morality of refusing so much life extending care. When the time comes, I am quite certain that I will refuse certain treatments on what I deem socially moral grounds. My desire is that such a decision will be viewed as responsible, and not slotted away with faith healers or some other disregarded or denigrated group.
We need to be clear that death is not "failure" --as you say--and that "extending life" is not unalloyed success. Instead of "wanting the best" for grandma, my child, my spouse --"no matter the cost" --the moral decision needs to be based on what is best for the community. Selfish, personal healthcare actions are too often construed as moral absolutes. Community-based decisions, which might raise questions about sustaining the heart functions of alzheimer's patient or ensuring the live-birth of a 22 week old fetus, need to be accorded similar moral heft.
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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