Exercising Choice

I have had my share of people going to the hospitals and then surviving there or not. I have had the misfortune of seeing that glamorous graph go from spikes to a flat line. I have been there and thankfully not as many times as I would care to remember.

One post that I consciously avoided (for sometime) was this one, which as you may have already guessed, I have now read.

I have seen people die due to the sheer negligence of doctors and nurses. At the same time I have had people who have survived form terminal situations due to the attendance and care of doctors and nurses. I have rewound myself from the last rites of a few that I know.

I saw the other side when I read this post. As much as we are careless about our health, they only execute a profession. A while ago, I wrote about how the medical profession is about commercial considerations. To know and believe that there are still those amongst us who care more for patients than the profession, is heartening. It doesn’t guarantee that your loved one will live; it does how ever guarantee that your loved one is in good hands. Death, as you may know, is only manageable, it is not controllable.

In a world that makes money by taking other peoples money, this is a small lamp in a dark cave.

An engineer makes a calculation mistake and the bridges come collapsing down, a politician makes an error in judgement and the world comes to terrorise you. A doctor makes a mistake, and by the sheer notion of close contact and knowing that individual – we are all set to blame and crucify that profession.

Life as it is is a combination of choice and chance as we have lived it. The medical professional operates in the same way as we do; possibly with more ethical compulsions and complications than we tread our daily lives?

Have you ever known and experienced exercising a difficult choice?


5 thoughts on “Exercising Choice

  1. I think for me the most diificult choices were deciding who gets to live and who doesn’t.So many times we see the futility in management of a patient and by sheer rule of best interest standards we decide that the patient is no longer a candidate for active management.These patients are generally terminal cancer patients or stroke patients with no possibility of rehab etc etc.

    That is harsh.One always wonders what if this person was someone I knew.Would I be able to be that calm, composed,rational and practical.

    But I’ve seen a small share of families having to make the decision and me being on the side of executing those choices.That is very hard.

    Thanks for understanding, though.This post has touched my heart. Thank-you.


  2. ‘Have you ever known and experienced exercising a difficult choice?’

    Alas, yes. (NOT read the links you have provided, so don’t really know why you wrote this now – just an off-the-cuff response to this post!)

    But thankfully, I believe I almost always erred on the side of what was best for the individual involved. It is a fine rope walk to balance overwhelming hope and expect miraculous results when faced with extremely bleak prognosis and shutting out the glaring statistics which one may be faced against. At the end of the day, the choice is about one’s convictions and when the convictions are really srong, the choices become a tad easier to make, even if not easier to live with.

    I provide support to people at the threshold of making such decisions. It is never easy to let go, but there are times and there are signs which help them in exercising the choice at that moment, howsoever difficult it may be to live with those thereafter. Some others cannot make the choice and willy-nilly have the choice made and thrust on them.

    There is some merit in their having these decisions made for them, those whose convictions abandon them at such junctures.


  3. ‘I think for me the most diificult choices were deciding who gets to live and who doesn’t.’

    This is the eternal question, isn’t it, edun?


  4. @ Shankari:

    True philosophically it is an eternal question.Coming from the professional background I come from, it is more a mechanical, set by protocol and a practical decision with very little space for emotion or philosphy for that matter.

    It is very easy to decide by medical standards that a particular ‘patient’ is no longer a good candidate for medical treatment, by which I mean active treatment.We will still keep him comfortable but if his heart or breathing stopped we will let him go and do nothing about it.

    I don’t think it is that easy when you put that ‘person’ in perspective.Especially when you constantly fight the thought that this ‘person’ could be one of your own.


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