Choice

Hearing about a woman: there is every sign of cancer. She is choosing not to see a doctor: it’s her choice.

Hear about a man: there was a diagnosis of senile dementia. He chose to stop eating: he died soon afterwards.

Nothing much to say: except there is no absolute right or wrong here. And Great Compassion manifests in all conditions: no matter what.

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5 thoughts on “Choice”

  1. Around here, there was a homeopath who chose to treat his son, who was suffering from cancer, only using homeopathic methods. The state stepped in and forced him to put his son into conventional chemo-radiation-etc. cancer treatment.

    Either the state considered him to be a nut-job who was unnecessarily endangering his son’s life, or the pharmaceutical cartels saw a threat to their dominance, and forced the state to intervene. Or both.

    No word on how his son did.

  2. I found myself reacting very strongly to this post.

    It brought to mind me of a situation a couple of years ago where a person my team worked with came very close to death after refusing treatment for cancer….she refused chemo because she was mortally scared of needles. She was a person with quite severe learning disabilities, and the whole concept of the needle obscured her very real desire to keep on living. Her refusal of the needle was taken by her oncology team (who weren’t accustomed to working with people with significant intellectual difficultes) as a considered refusal of the life-saving treatment. I can’t express how much that scared me – a life nearly gone because of a problem with semantics, and a phobia that can often be very effectively treated.

    I hope that both the individuals you refer to made choices that were right for them, and that they had all the facts – and all the space – they needed to make their decisions. And i hope that people who loved them tried – considerately, not in a bullying way – to challenge their choices before accepting them. Just to be sure that it’s really what they wanted, you know?

    And, if they are now gone (maybe not the case with the lady with possible cancer?), I hope their endings were peaceful.

  3. Thanks for your contributions. This whole area of informed consent, prelonging of life and medical intervention (used in the positive sense) brings up strong feelings to be sure. It does for me. I’ve not personally been involved, directly or indirectly, in these sorts of situations.

    There is more to be said, and sat with. See the posting Medical Ethics for a link to the BBC web site and a programme which looks at an actual case.

    Yes, thanks to Hobsons Choice. Hopefully I’ll have some time to respond to what you have said in your comment. Probably that will be in a future posting.

    The fact that you found yourself reacting very strongly to the posting did not seem to impact your evenly written comment.

    As for this: ‘The state stepped in and forced him to put his son into conventional chemo-radiation-etc. cancer treatment’. Now I find _myself_ reacting very strongly! …and so it is probably better for me to get on with my day and see if I have anything constructive to say, later.

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