Pull the Plug Essay

Submitted By blownbalt
Words: 1089
Pages: 5

Pull the plug, wait don’t! Or do? Comforting a loved one can be a very difficult and a heavy burden to bear before they die. It involves a lot of strength and responsibility. I recently lost my grandfather to lung cancer. It was very hard to see him go from being a very strong intellectual person to someone who was weak, and ready to end his life as fast as possible due to discomfort. Finally my grandfather died from lung cancer, which spread to other parts of his body, the day before Christmas in 2011. Seeing my grandfather go through all the treatments and pain he went through made me rethink whether to oppose physicians to assist patients with suicide. I wanted my grandfather who was like a father to me to keep fighting as long as he could. At times when he wanted to give up from all the pain and discomfort I would beg, and plea for him to continue with treatments. There were times I was not strong enough to stand at his bed. Watching him in pain and watching his body weaken was almost too much for me to bear, but there was always this ounce of hope within me that he would heal. I read a story about a woman named Susan, when it was time for her to say goodbye to her father Susan (Wolf, 2008) stated, “I struggled, remembering the rabbi’s caution that the ones we love most may need permission to leave us, to die.” (p. 25). After reading this I am thankful for my grandfathers last visit to Fort Worth when I was able to openly express to him how much I loved him, and that I understand and give my full support to him resting with no continued treatment.
As Susan did, I wish I would have given myself time to rethink a fast no, and maybe tried to utter a slow yes in response to my grandfather refusing treatments. However, during his last days my family maintained vigil and fought to secure a comfortable death for my grandfather. Though I was not there in his last days since I was on a mission with the military and not able to make it home in time I am comfortable with every decision I helped make while he was fighting this terrible disease. He fought long enough to see most of all the family for the last time, and attended some memorable events with his other grandchildren for them to cherish. So, I responded in similar ways as Susan did resulting in my loved one leaving this earth comfortable.
Personally, I believe I would have regretted accelerating my grandfather’s death, and not being a strong support system for him. I would have never wanted him to feel like I was giving up on him, and trying to abandon him because times were hard. “I would not want to bear the burden of having “accelerated,” of causing his death by euthanasia or assisted suicide.” (Wolf, 2008 p. 26) I agree wholeheartedly with this statement made by Susan, because my grandfather fought long enough to make his wishes known to us. The time that he fought allowed us to say our goodbyes and prepare to lay him to rest in a thought-out approached way. However, everyone is not as strong as Susan’s father or my grandfather was during this tough time, and I think having the option available to them is ok. If physicians will be willing to assist out of respects for the patient and family wishes than I do not see a problem. I used to view this as murder believing if a patient is extremely terminally ill than they are not competent to make decisions as such. I felt it was away for the doctors and hospital staff to abandon the patient. For example, Susan’s father was moved from hospital to hospital during his care simply due to certain staff members thinking they have done all they can do for him. It was a struggle trying to find doctors who would accept my grandfather as a patient, so I could only imagine how hard it was to find different acceptable hospitals and hospice facilities for him.
As Susan’s father made a request for accelerated death he only was crying for help to relieve the