I think our medical system fails by not respecting the natural life process, birth to death, and promoting increasingly invasive procedures and advanced life support where Palliative Care (care and comfort) and letting people that they are loved and cared for is the more realistic and preferred outcome.
I am 57 years of age and in Palliative Care due to a confluence of medical issues that leave me with fragile health. I have chosen a pathway forward that will NOT involve any invasive procedures, nor surgeries, nor IV antibiotics, no parental nutrition, nor ventilator support . . . you get the picture. My medical team is in full support of my decision. Palliative Care treats the entire person, along with psychological counseling and support for immediate family. It is where I need to be.
I have an elderly 82 year old gentleman as my neighbor in the condominium complex where I live. He underwent 4 vessel coronary bypass surgery 4 months ago, at the urging of his cardiologist but with an unsettled sense within his own mind and personal thoughts.
The outcome has not been favorable. While my elderly neighbor survived the bypass surgery, the prolonged stress response and endocrine fatigue along with consequences of air emboli released while being on heart bypass during surgery, has left him languishing between repeated hospital admissions and custodial nursing home care. His trajectory has been one of a downward spiral, riddled with ongoing pain, placement of a G-tube for tube feeding, a tracheostomy, indwelling carheter, and exasperation. As his wife comments with sorrow, “Mac is not the same person, and never will be again. He is existing but not living. It is all so unfair.”
We each have our own uniquely personal lens through which we view the sanctity of life. I do not want for myself to be prolonged or excessive by medical care that places me in a life space that I do not want to be in.
Other people want every medical support available up to them up to the end.
At 88 years of age, your father has had a “good run,” so to speak. Giving your father the knowledge that he is loved and comforted trumps any intrusive medical intervention with risk of compounding complications, in my opinion.
Have a gentle but open conversation with your father, son to father. Explore his thoughts. Be patient in listening. Offer your opinions. You know your father as only a son can. You know your father better than any physician. You have benefit of a life share as a family and the tools at hand to make the decision best for your father as a unique person, n = 1.
A long post, I apologize. Take what works for you and disregard the rest.
Sending you blessings and a warm hug, because you deserve one.
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former Colon Club member (NWGirl).
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy - in loving remembrance of Bella
I am on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression. I live a simple life due to frail health.