Sometimes doctors assume they have to keep dying people alive, even against the patient’s wish and best interest. Here is one such story, which can outrage any sane mind.
Lynn McVey wrote a blog titled ‘My father was robbed of a good death', where she shares her rage over how a doctor tricked her father into opting for a pacemaker, even going as far as emotionally blackmailing him, in the process robbing him of a quiet death he so wanted.
Lynn’s father, John Rhatigan, lived 92 years. When he learned he had just a few days left, that his heart was failing, he did not want the pacemaker his doctor suggested. He did not want any extraordinary means to keep him alive if there was no chance for a meaningful recovery. Her parents had written their end-of-life instructions for their children to carry out.
At the hospital, friends and family members came to say good-bye to her dad. He shared his stories and planning his own funeral. The burial plot was picked out.
Then suddenly, and surprisingly, her father asked for the pacemaker to be inserted in his chest. He had the procedure, went to cardiac rehabilitation, and then went to live with his daughter. Although she was thankful for the extra time, one day she asked him, "Dad, why did you change your mind about the pacemaker?"
His response shocked and angered her. He told her the doctor had whispered in his ear, "Hey, you tough marine. You are torturing your daughters. You should get the pacemaker." He said he felt obligated, for their sake, to have the pacemaker. The doctor was dead wrong.
When she later confronted the doctor, he said that doctors were trained to save lives. "Until that changes, I will do whatever I can to save lives."
Just three months after the pacemaker was inserted, her father had a massive stroke. He grabbed his daughter’s hand, and, in garbled words and with frightened eyes, told her to let him go. He died three days later, not the way he wanted to go.
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