Friday, March 25, 2005

An Important Lesson

In our Medical Ethics class, we discussed Terri Schaivo. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, there is an important lesson to learn from all this.

After all opinions were expressed, our professor, Dr. W , told us that this lesson was extremely important to him. He told us how his father was terminally ill. One day, after seeing his father suffer, Dr. W grabbed 2 pillows. Then he lay down right next to his father, looked right into his eyes, and asked him that if his father wanted, he would end his suffering. He would use the pillows to smother his father if he wanted the suffering to end. As Dr. W was telling us this, his voice quivered severely and a tear rolled down his cheek. He continued:

"My father started to cry and he shook his head 'no'. I said, 'okay'. Now, I'm telling you this because I want you all to know. GET YOURSELF A LIVING WILL AND WHATEVER ELSE WILL EXPLAIN WHAT YOU WANT. DON'T MAKE A LOVED ONE MAKE THAT KIND OF A DECISION. IT'S TOO HARD."

The entire classroom was silent. We all got the message. This debate wasn't about which side was right or wrong. It was about us and what we needed to do in order to protect both our wishes as well as our families from having to interpret those wishes. In life, things happen. Good or bad, right or wrong there is always a lesson to be learned.