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Terminal Illness – Should we fight to the bitter end? If not what to do?

July 1, 2018 Cancer, Context, Dying, Personal Health, Pioneers, Resources No Comments

100 years ago, most deaths were quick. A person was well and then sick and then dead. Medicine could do very little. But today, most of us die long protracted deaths. Treatment is piled upon treatment. The dying person and their families endure increasing pain and humiliation and disappointment. Often what has been really extended is more suffering. The problem is that our culture and the advances of medicine give us false hope in many cases. We cannot let go.

Hospice has been on offer for many years. But many feel that taking hospice is giving up.

The irony is that it is not. What it offers is a better quality of life for the terminally ill and for their families.

This is still a controversial issue for many people. To help you learn more here is an outstanding post in the New Yorker by By 

A snippet here:

Wasn’t the goal of hospice to let nature take its course?

“That’s not the goal,” Creed said. The difference between standard medical care and hospice is not the difference between treating and doing nothing, she explained. The difference was in your priorities. In ordinary medicine, the goal is to extend life. We’ll sacrifice the quality of your existence now—by performing surgery, providing chemotherapy, putting you in intensive care—for the chance of gaining time later. Hospice deploys nurses, doctors, and social workers to help people with a fatal illness have the fullest possible lives right now. That means focussing on objectives like freedom from pain and discomfort, or maintaining mental awareness for as long as possible, or getting out with family once in a while. Hospice and palliative-care specialists aren’t much concerned about whether that makes people’s lives longer or shorter.

Like many people, I had believed that hospice care hastens death, because patients forgo hospital treatments and are allowed high-dose narcotics to combat pain. But studies suggest otherwise. In one, researchers followed 4,493 Medicare patients with either terminal cancer or congestive heart failure. They found no difference in survival time between hospice and non-hospice patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Curiously, hospice care seemed to extend survival for some patients; those with pancreatic cancer gained an average of three weeks, those with lung cancer gained six weeks, and those with congestive heart failure gained three months. The lesson seems almost Zen: you live longer only when you stop trying to live longer. When Cox was transferred to hospice care, her doctors thought that she wouldn’t live much longer than a few weeks. With the supportive hospice therapy she received, she had already lived for a year.

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What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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Terminal Illness – Should we fight to the bitter end? If not what to do?

100 years ago, most deaths were quick. A person was well and then sick and then dead. Medicine could do very little. But today, most of us die long protracted deaths. Treatment is piled upon treatment. The dying person and their families endure increasing pain and humiliation and disappointment. Often …

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