Tag Archives: rights

Expect the unexpected. A warning.

So, my Dad will be coming to stay with me and my family Thursday. Hopefully very short term since he’d rather be with my sister in Arizona.

The phone call to tell him was uncomfortable and I had to be just like him (again), to get him to hear me. At one point I reminded him that over a year ago I tried to suggest legal documents and processes to avoid this situation. His argument was that millions of people die without legal documents in place.

I reminded him that none of those people participate in western medicine before their death. Either they are too isolated or have something sneak up out of nowhere, like a deadly massive heart attack or traumatic accident.

In his case neither applies.

So this leads me to my fair warning for all Americans that have participated in western medicine and don’t wish to be controlled by the medical establishment.

If you have even a remote inkling that your health may one day lead to situations you don’t enjoy the idea of, then you must act preemptively. If you don’t the medical establishment will take over for you.

Please understand: the rules of Western Medicine is currently in the framework of keep someone alive at all costs. My firm opinion is because it makes them a lot of money. This is because at one point in time it was “first do no harm” and patient rights regardless of their decision.

Currently, if you acknowledge your health is failing and the result is that you wish to go off meds and quit eating, allopathic medicine will label you as psychiatric risk and deem you unfit to make your own medical decisions.

That is essentially what my father has created, and it is compounded by evidence of moderate memory loss. They have decided that because of the beginnings of dementia he must not be thinking clearly. Yet I know my father promised me two years ago, that when he was no longer able to care for himself he would take himself out, without a big mess to clean up. I believe he saw the writing on the wall and decided he had reached that time. Only, he failed at his mission and landed in a hospital due to his pastor’s intervention. Having no legal protections in place, he is now only able to exit the hospital under familial care. Hence me going to get him Thursday.

What he would have needed was a DNR (do not resuscitate) order and living will. They would have needed to be hung at/in the entry point of his small RV home, it would have also helped if he wore the medical bracelet with DNR on it. The documents should also be filed with his primary care provider (MD) and anyone listed as power of attorney. If that had been in place the EMT’s would have taken the documents with him in transport to the hospital and he would have been put on short term hospice until his body gave up.

Legal documents are the only way to ensure someone in the medical system retains all of their preferences no matter what.

The living will is where you can break down all of the things you are okay with or not. For example we’re all familiar with the idea that you can refuse life support in coma situations. However, you can get even more detailed than that. In my father’s case he could have stipulated a do not resuscitate order, but with clarification that if dementia was known or suspected that he did not want any medical interventions including medicines. This would have been a good idea because his sister and mother both died with/because of Alzheimer’s.

You can take it even further and stipulate pain relievers only. You can deem ahead of time all of the many limitations to care which might prolong life. Essentially it ties medicine’s hands for keeping you alive when your body is evidently declining. You can declare no blood pressure medications, no diuretics or fluid corrective medications. You can declare no maintenance medications of any kind. You can even declare refusal of feeding tubes or IV treatments.

These would all ensure a quicker decline and exit of this life.

You do have that right, but only if you stipulate it well in advance, in the presence of legal representation and while in certainty of clear and sound mind.

You must draw up legal documents spelling out in very clear certain terms what is ok, what is not okay, how you define decline, and where you personally draw lines. If you want those choices no matter what, then that is the only way to ensure such, in America at the present time.

As far as my dad is concerned, the social worker did say that his memory loss was mild enough that if he had already started legal documents they could be completed. Otherwise at this point he was able to safely set up a power of attorney and deem who was capable of making medical decisions for him. I’m hoping that he did start documents like he says, because a phone call and signature could potentially finish them. If he didn’t, then it will take a bit more effort, and we may be limited as to what can be done. Regardless, as a family we now have a very narrow window to be able to complete any documents that would save us more costly expenses later.

I genuinely want my dad to have the end of life experience he desires, even though it seems like it would be hard.

This is because I have seen too frequently the medicine version, and it is really no less painful. There are so many problems with the keep alive paradigm, that I can see neither option is stellar. I have seen people propped up on a plethora of medications for a wide array of symptoms. It keeps them alive, but often they can not walk, lose the ability to feed themselves, in dementia they quit talking, and many become bed bound. If it were for days or weeks I could see maybe it was better, but it is not. Western Medicine is great at keeping people alive for years past when their body originally aimed at an exit. I have now worked with a dozen residents that were bed bound for over 2 years. That is not living, that is being alive.

I can see the value in not having that end of life story, but without legal documents your chances of the quick exit dwindle drastically, especially if diabetes, heart disease or dementia is in the records. If one or more of those 3 diseases is your plight, then you are more likely to live 5 to 10 years propped up on medications declining at a snail’s pace and spending a vast amount of time wheelchair or bed bound. I don’t want that scenario any more than my father does, and completely understand his current anger and frustrations. I hope he sees I tried to give him a solution a long time ago, and that I am doing my best to get him a close second even now.

May you understand your health or lack thereof. May you set-up protections for yourself with plenty of time to spare and plenty of time to adjust if you change your mind. May you know how you wish to go and how to accomplish that. May we all be blessed with the quick out-of-nowhere exit from our current lives, but only when we’re ready to go. May any declines be speedy and painless. May our rights be respected even when others disagree with them. May we all know we are loved and supported as fully as our allowing enables. May we know that God is doing their best to give us exactly what we desire and need.

Siva Hir Su

Social justice meets Bollywood

I have been following a new blog by  Deeply Shredded and one of his recent posts recommended watching “AArakshan” a Bollywood film.

It has been a long while since I have watched a full length Bollywood film. This was a long one, so it took me 2 days to watch it in 20 min increments, around my work. I had totally forgotten how much like our American made Musicals they are. The musical moments in this film reminded me of the over-the-top numbers of the likes of “Moulin Rouge” or “Chicago”. Very entertaining, though I was aware very quickly that this movie was about far more than entertainment.

It was intended to bring to light social inequalities and it is unclear to me if the events that had occurred in the movie were based on actual historical events or if it was more of a docu-drama more loosely based in reality. Regardless, it does delve into real concerns over the sorely outdated caste system and the plague that it causes on vast populations within India. More specifically it looks at how the lower casts have had to struggle for even the right to basic education.

Their terminology used for a law was Reservation, as in we are reserving these spaces for the lower casts. It directly reminded me of our own Affirmative Action here in the United States and also the Desegregation of schools in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and resulting busing in the 1970’s.

Though my life is not that of a lower cast Indian, I found I could relate on some level. I grew up with a father that could not stand Affirmative Action, because it did nothing for him. He was angry that our family had come to America as indentured servants, yet were not afforded any ‘compensation’ as the blacks were. As a child I could remember him ranting about Affirmative Action and how it was keeping him from getting jobs. Yet he could not see that the major difference for him was that he was a grown white male with a college degree in engineering and a European name. I never understood why he felt that way. I could see that he looked like everyone else he worked with, literally every office he ever worked in was old white men with the random black person or woman.  I could see that regardless of whether Affirmative Action was in place, my father was never in jeopardy of having a job unless it was by his own mis-step or mis-fortune. Essentially, my father had the rights and privileges that those of black skin or female gender did not. (He was equivalent to the upper cast in India, and Blacks/Women the lower cast.)

This movie was making the same point. The upper casts by birth were showered with rights, privileges and resources that lowers casts simply didn’t even have access to. The turning point was when the Principle pointed out that the rich boy with low scores could hardly be compared to the poor child with the same scores, for the rich child had all of the resources needed to learn properly and succeed. If the child with all of the resources was still failing it was simply a reflection of their ability or desire to do well, and that should not allow them to take precedent over the child that managed just as well with nothing and no support.

I really understood when the Principle initially refused to agree with the Reservation law. I understood that he had wished for there to be simple equality where a person’s results were balanced against their resources and assistance. That he wish for no more than for the cast system to be acknowledged as obsolete by everyone, and that both sides could see the other. {BTW I totally agree, I wish all of society functioned that way. I too wish that we could stop labeling and putting factions of our world population down for just their mere existence.}

Alas, as is often the case in this world, the greedy were the privileged. They were the ones with access to the controlling mechanisms and all of the resources, and the idea of others encroaching on that made them react in fear of loss. They simply can’t bear to share anything. The ‘mastermind’ of the movie was intelligent and well connected, and made all of the right moves to make sure everyone was afraid of him. He took the Principle out and took his home and pushed him down as far as he possibly could.

In the end the Principle rebuilt on his own, teaching for free. He was still successful earning the trust of thousands of families. When everything came to a head and the greedy parties threatened to do physical harm and destroy what was rebuilt, a high government official stepped in. She stopped the battle before it was started and gave the principle a new remedial school to continue to run for the free education of the poor casts. He was rewarded as the hero of education.

I must say that I have several thoughts on this matter:

  1. Intelligence is not the only thing you need to earn the respect of a community at large. Intelligence must be accompanied by heart and wisdom. That is why the Principle was the hero, and why the greedy parties were only able to strike fear in the people. The same with money: money is only good if accompanied by heart and wisdom. I am reminded of our own Rockefeller Family especially SR vs JR and the mindset difference between them. Today we can still see this dichotomy play out with examples like Trump vs. Oprah/Paul Newman/Branson/Warren Buffet (the billionaires club being invaluable to good deeds these days).
  2. All humans do deserve an education. That is a basic right, and I am glad that the Principle was able to win the war. Since those rich people wish to separate themselves so badly, let them have their private paid schools and continue to coast through life, while the rest of us do the real work to ensure humanity continues to thrive.
  3. I too wish that this world could finally move past outdated useless ideas and find the ideal of equality. These battles have been raging for centuries and they have yet to solve anything for anyone. I genuinely wish that my generation and those younger than me, can come together for once and for all, and put an end to all of this bullshit. We all have hearts and lungs and flowing blood. We all need to eat and drink, and we should all be able to live in this world with less fear induced by others of our own species.  There is no reason to perpetuate this fucked up idea that any one group is better than or lesser than another. Treat each other as the humans we are. Be Kind damnit!
  4. Finally, you reap what you sow. If you are deceptive, deceitful, greedy and hateful, you are likely to get put in your place by the end of your life. If you genuinely strive to do better, be a better person, and do good in this world, eventually you will find reward of one kind or another. Nathan and I like to refer to that as Universal Law or God Law. Humans can attempt to make rules, laws, regulations to dictate what is good and what is bad, but we are merely attempting to put words and labels on something you just know when you see it. Lets all aim for the positive side of the scale. Be Kind, Be Good, Be Caring, Be Helpful.
    • Be the Change You Wish To See in the World! ~Ghandi

Thank you for reading my rants and rambles. May you all find your light in this world and feel safe and respected. May you all have your basic rights honored and find a way to a prosperous life.

As Above, So Below, So Mote it Be.

Dhanyavadam. Siva Hir Su.