We are torn by the reality that my father is on his death bed. We are merely counting the days because medically, all the options have been explored and expended. We are waiting for his heart to stop and other body functions to cease. I was asked about advance directives and I realized how important it is to prepare these choices for the hospital staff and the most important is DNR or do not resuscitate. Fragile and frail, even if I want to see my father’s life extended, I would be most pained if his quality of life would be that of a vegetable. Is it okay if we just keep my father as he is without machines keeping him alive and wait?
Carina of Santo Tomas Road, Baguio City
Yes, definitely, the advance directives are things to think about when you have bedridden family members and relatives who you rush to the hospital or when you call the ambulance. These include many considerations but mostly cover reviving them when their heart stops or to attach life-sustaining equipment on them at any point. Do not resuscitate is the most basic because this DNR can be done several times but not necessarily extend life properly. Intubation is one other consideration, particularly in these Covid-19 times when they must tear the skin and insert the tube in the throat for oxygen because this could prevent heart arrests, I believe. It is fine to decide against equipment that take over functions of organs like a respirator, but you must be clear about this and agree on this as a family. The IV drip I believe should not be removed because I have a direct experience on a cousin who had colon cancer, woke up after two months, and lived another six after she was sent home. So, these are decisions of the family so that not just one lives with the guilt.
Decide as a family,
Everyone lives with goals and timetables. I am one who stays on schedule because I know there are other people who are dependent on my work and output. Because of this, I am not one to nag and pressure people, I wait. Recently, I was asked to follow up on an item that is still due two weeks from now. What is your opinion on this? I need to send feedback on what I did to my superior. I am not one to lie. I am also ashamed to follow up.
Ric of Loakan, Baguio City
I admire your values and self-discipline, but I must say that not everybody is of your quality and character. Yes, gentle reminders are what you can call it because some people need the reminders, I am one. When you send reminders or call it a query or “kamusta” on the progress on the item, it is not nagging. When there is no response and all the efforts have been ignored, then it is fine to expend all efforts and means to get a reply. This is when nagging is justified. But for now, until two days before it is due, be kind and patient.