*This is my point of view. I welcome comments, but please keep them respectful*
My Oma is 87 years old. She recently had a quadruple bypass with atrial valve replacement surgery. At 87 years old.
She has been depressed for years, since Opa died over 5 years ago. She has repeatedly said she is ready to die, and in fact wants to die. But she was convinced to have this surgery. She was told over and over how much better she would feel after.
But no one seems to have told her about the recovery period, the pain, the struggles, the depression that comes with it. I tried. I tried to explain, but she wouldn't hear it. She believed that my dad, the doctor's had her best interests at heart. When asked by doctors if she was depressed, she said "no". I was at one of these appointments, and I told the doctor the truth. But none of this mattered.
She even told me she hoped something would go wrong during the surgery. Part of me thinks she agreed so that she could die.
Post surgery is not going well. The depression is terrible. And thus the healing process is terrible. At one point she was refusing food. She will not take anti-depressants.
She is 87 years old and ready to die.
Generally speaking, if someone is depressed and suicidal we try to fix that. But this woman has lived a long, hard life. And her greatest wish is to die and join her husband. But there is no way to make that happen, not legally. And it frustrates the hell out of me. She should have that right.
I have a friend whose doctor's have told him he most likely has cancer. He has been in the ER for things that indicate it is progressing. But he is refusing to get treated because of no insurance. And because of depression. Which he will not get treated because of depression as well. He is ready to die.
My opinion on this differs a bit. He has 3 children. He is a single dad. And he won't tell anyone what is going on. Again, I believe in a person's right to die, but he isn't even willing to fight for the sake of his kids. This saddens me. Had he been through umpteen treatments and was tired and knew it would make no difference that would make sense. But this...this is simply depression speaking. I KNOW that. But I can't force him to do something. It's his choice. All I can do is make sure he's made preparations for the children.
Here's the thing. I get wanting to die. More than I would like to. My son is what gets me through. My son and my friends. I would probably be dead without you, without him. But I FIGHT. The fight is gone out of them. And with healthcare being what it is, not only are they not allowed to end their lives, my friend can't even get treated. He doesn't make enough to find individual care, and he makes too much to qualify for medicaid.
I can't make someone fight if they've made up their minds. I firmly believe if my grandmother wants to die after a long, full life that she should be able to find a way to do that. I feel that someone who has fought a life threatening illness for ages with no relief in sight should have the right to end their life peacefully instead of painfully.
It hurts me so much to see the pain, to not be able to help (not without going to jail, anyway). Sometimes it is just time. Yes, we have the medical technology available to keep a heart beating, but not the soul.
Sometimes it is just time.