"Dying - friends & relatives"

(as the patient),

My sincere sympathies are with "soveitski" and his family; it is so sad and devastating to lose anyone, by whatever cause. I know, I lost my father when in my opinion he was far too young to die.

All of us hold on to the hope that "doctors / medicine" will make us better, and in my experience, this is on the whole absolutely true and applicable. Science, technology, human learning and understanding have progressed quite phenomenally and are still doing so at an almost immeasurable rate. The expertise available to many fields of human care is wonderful.

However, there are instances when the carers (doctors and loved ones) really need to take into account the quality of life and the dignity of the sufferer. As much as "sovietski" seems to be aware of "cost cutting" exercises in his brother's situation, I would suggest that it may have been much more humane and fundamental than that.

Doctors and most experienced carers will recognise, for a better way of stating it, "a point of no return" in a patient's illness. A point at which the disease is so advanced that although it might be possible to keep the patient / sufferer alive for an extended period of time, and maybe keep pain to a marginally bearable level, it is often at huge cost to the dignity and quality of life for the patient.

Over the years I have looked after, cared for, and had close friends and family who have been suffering terminal or end-of-life illness. I have witnessed the pain on both sides; the responsibility and the endeavour to care for the patient; to keep the patient alive because that is what is expected; against the knowledge that the patient has passed the point of no return.

I have been advised by doctors who have sufficient awareness, compassion and responsibility to know when it is time to recognise the "point of no return". It is not an easy decision to make, for the medical practitioner or for the family. In my experience, the decision to "no longer keep the patient alive" is most certainly not a cost cutting exercise, but rather a decision made with a great deal of compassion and understanding of the patient's suffering and eventual outcome.

The end of life experience is unbelievably painful, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thankfully, most doctors and experienced carers are aware of this and deal with it accordingly, usually in very difficult circumstances, with compassion, and responsibility. In my opinion, our medical practitioners should be applauded and praised for the work they do and the decisions they face.

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