Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mercy Killing

      Her father passed away early last year. Two months or so before his passing, a specialist had evaluated him and concluded that he lost the ability to swallow. After obtaining the result, together with others, his physician gave her an option. She would have to choose and make a decision for her father.
      I still remember her heart-wrenching sobs upon her delivering me the news.
      “He said to remove the feeding tube.” She tried to keep her voice calm and steady. “He said it wouldn't take long. It would take probably a week.”  The underlying message was clear,  but the thought of literally starving him to …. It troubled me a great deal. She then burst into tears and said, “How could I …?” She couldn't bear the thought of depriving his father of food and watching him die, even though he pretty much surrendered the will to …..

The feeding tube stayed.

But at what cost?