living bridge

Friday, August 9, 2013

BORN TO DIE OR BORN TO LIVE



                          BORN  TO  DIE !!!!!!!!!! xxxxxx BORN  TO  LIVE

The water starved parched mother earth exhibiting cracks and the citizens looking up the sky hoping for some rain, for nearly two years- the rain God has been kind  in the last few days, such that the water bodies around the city are filling up –thanks to the efforts of Srithuli -the dams are filling to capacity level and the river NOYYAL  welcoming the citizens for the Adi festival. The urban city is having only  welcome  showers-if it pours then the city roads will be water logged causing traffic chaos –the weather is very pleasant and ideal for early morning walk breathing  unpolluted  fresh oxygen exhaled by the avenue of trees in the citizens’ park.
After a few rounds it is my habit to sit in the  bench for a few minutes to relax  with abdominal breathing ,when I plan my priorities for the day. It is then one day I couldn’t help but overhear few middle aged three males and one female conversing first their grievances in their jobs and latter the topic shifted to spirituality when I my curiosity sharpened my ears to listen further. I could understand from their discussion that they lost one of their friends in an accident recently and his kidney, cornea was donated by the relatives.
“ It is unfortunate that he is such a charming man , pious and God loving,always duty conscious and a devoted husband. Why should GOD punish him in such accident . This makes me angry and doubt the existence of God.”   Opined the youngest among the group
“ yes he has a good name in the company and has very bright prospects in future but it is the way it has to be – I am not certain  whether God  is there or not ,but his bad luck he was knocked down by the  speeding van “ Agnostic view
Middle aged Theist “ look just because he died in an accident You cannot deny the existence of GOD . I believe that the fault is by both –if only both  adhered to traffic rules the accident could have been avoided. Don’t you see that if he had worn helmet fatality could have been eliminated?”
Atheist middle aged male couldn’t help voicing his views” if you believe in God why is there so many Gods Muslim god,christian god,Hindu god  and there are so many Hindu god s why ?If God  has created this world there should be one and only god. Why is the politics among gods, each given a portfolio of wealth, education, health, welfare, annihilation etc like our ministers? No one has seen God .It is all pure and simple imagination by different individual.
“ Look just because no one has seen God you cannot deny the existence of God. Not necessary to see god- you believe in electricity, magnetism, earth gravity – have you seen them ,no ,still you believe that electricity,gravity exists”
“O.K.O.K What you have said about electricity, gravity  etc all physics existing in the universe. Even though we don’t see them we are benefited by them aren’t we “
“yes no denying ,you are benefited without seeing them. But where did this gravity,magnetism come from. That is physics and chemistry created in the universe  by God’.
No one can give a valid answer to satisfy everyone.  All of us are “BORN TO DIE “
Come let us go home .was his verdict.
These words ‘BORN TO DIE” his voice modulation and the positive affirmative gesture by his hand  was such, as if the sole purpose of birth is to die ,struck my Glabella between eye brows like a lightning and when returned home lying in the bed with eyes closed started contemplating, analyzing the meaning “BORN TO DIE”   I f that is so why should God create life ? is it just annihilate latter! I don’t think so. When does one believe that we are born ? Is it when the sperm mates with the ova in the fallopian tube and latter gets implanted in the uterus? If w e accept the new life is created after the fertilization of ova and gets implanted in the uterus then why is that the fetus is still born before it could breathe fresh air as it cries with joy or anguish for having landed in the planet earth!  O.K.then why the time gap between birth and death ? and why the time gap varies from one to another human? What is expected of mankind in the time interval between birth and death? Is it just to eat,gossip,work to earn living ,marry,mate and procreate the human species. Animals,birds,reptiles etc does the same eating, mating and procreation.Why God the creator,created different species in the planet earth?Animals and birds also have inborn feelings like compassion towards fellow in taking care of new born and also exhibit  anger in predation . So how do we differ from animals and birds.

I am convinced that we are endowed with some unique qualities by the benevolence of GOD  

INTELLECTUAL THINKING ,REASONING  : It provides us with correct perspective to differentiate  between good and bad and also to control our Ego,Hatred,Anger Jealousy   etc. Once when these cobwebs are dusted off then our soul and mind  are in harmony ,guiding us to live in peace and contentment.
INTROSPECTION : To introspect in silence is a golden opportunity for us to look within  which is the habitat of soul,consciousness,or superconsciousness or divinity ,call it what you like. These super natural power house guides us  to realize the purpose of birth,  and while alive admiring with awe the creation of universe equipped with oxygen,sunlight,water the essential ingredient to sustain life .
LAUGHTER: Laughter is one unique quality that distinguishes mankind from animals. To laugh at a joke require presence of mind, intelligence to interpret the meaning is the only way when we live in the present now and  to clear our ego. Laughter is the best medicine for the soul

IMAGINATION: Imagination and the undying eagerness to explore  is the seed which flourished  in creating the latest technological advances in modes of communication,travel,education life saving procedures  and our achievements in space and under sea research
So if we a were born only to die ,then how we could have achieved all the modern developments? Obviously, the creator did create the universe with many living species including mankind with some specific purpose.GOD the creator has given us  full freedom to choose the way we desire to live.
Let me recall the oft quote ‘IT IS NOT HOW MANY DAYS WE LIVE, BUT HOW  WE LIVE IS IMPORTANT”  
Birth and death are just entry and exit points.Death is only separation of soul when the personality dies but the soul enlivens
‘DEATH  I  HAVE  CONQUERED  LONG  AGO  WHEN  I GAVE  UP  MY  LIFE . MY ONLY  ANXIETY  IS WORK” Swami Vivekananda.

Yes I am totally convinced that we are “BORN TO LIVE “and not ‘BORN TO DIE “   
Next time when I happen to meet the trio at the park, I will  emphatically voice my views that we are BORN TO LIVE and not born to die .Your friend who died in  an accident is  living through his donated cornea and kidney. ORGAN DONATION  is the best social service to the mankind 

My ramblings are the outcome of my overhearing the gossip- bad habit I am aware- all the same I am thankful for kindling my thought.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         








Monday, April 22, 2013

VALUE OF LIVING WILL


 VALUE OF LIVING WILL



      WILL   is a legal statement made by a healthy citizen detailing the disposal of his estate, material wealth 
 
LIVING WILL is a legal statement made by a healthy citizen detailing not about his wealth but the way he /she desires the way to be taken care, when he/she succumb to incurable illness and how far life supporting measures to carried forward. Such WILL is sure to ease the burden for the sons, daughters as well as doctors
  
Ever since I have come to know of living will it has been in my mind as to

 the value, significance and the necessity of such LIVING WILL.  I have

 operated many Patients with cancer esophagus.Most cases are followed up with Chemotherapy or/and radiotherapy to kill any residual disease or prevent  recurrence. Due to side effects of chemo/radiotherapy {loss of appetite, loss of weight, depressed bone marrow ,low white cells,anemia,hair loss etc  many patients decline to continue such therapy for the simple reason that the treatment is prolonged  for nearly three months. Post operative chemo/radiotherapy does indeed prolong the survival, improve the quality of life. But should such regime is to be insisted/forced on patients when they or the relatives  are not keen especially so when the patient is  above 70 years.

On occasions when the patients are on ventilatory support following a cardiac problem ,comatose patients , accident victims when the relatives are keen to know whether full ,complete recovery is possible and if so they don’t mind to continue the ventilatory support—whereas the attending doctor, justifiably so, say that he will do his best but  cannot and will not give a guarantee  about the out come. This sort of scenario is often encountered when the sons/daughters are living abroad and are keen to get back –not that they desire to abandon the parents.


The physicians while treating a disease the priority should be[Q.O.L.] quality of life after the chosen line of treatment. The most difficult problem the doctor  faces: whether to unmercifully prolong life with suffering in the face of  inevitable death.

The heroic measures ; the ventilatory support,tracheostomy, life supporting

 drugs to keep the patient alive in deep coma with multiorgan failure is

 indeed dysthanasia-  meaning resulting in painful, undignified death

 although the doctors and the relatives know the borrowed time is spent in

 misery for the patient as well as relatives with emotional and financial strain.
The relatives have mixed views whether to continue all measures or cut off the

 ventilator support. Some request the doctor to continue till the last breath to

 avoid retrospective regret. The medical fraternity is also obliged to continue

 for fear euthanasia.

In such circumstances when a LIVING WILL has been drafted by the elder, countersigned by the sons, daughters , notarized by a notary the decision under such situations  are made  easier not only for the relatives but also for the doctors 




HIPPOCRATES pledged physicians not to use drugs to produce death. He

 also forbade administration of remedies to those beyond hope.

Dr.Worcester wrote in his classical book THE CARE OF THE

 AGED,DYING, AND THE DEAD ‘‘Modern methods of resuscitation are

 most decidedly out of place whereby by disease or by accident the body’s

 usefulness has ended’ Especially is this true when resuscitation would only

 prolong the patient’s suffering. Such attempted defiance of nature is even less

 justifiable than are efforts to prolong life when the inevitable approach of

 death offers merciful release. Yet in both these ways many of our profession

 seem duty bound to do their utmost. They ought to know better. The dying

 ought to be allowed to depart in peace. For there is no treatment for death.

Pope Pius XII within the last year of his life stated the official position of the

 Roman Catholic Church as not requiring the physician to use extraordinary

 means when only certain death and suffering lies ahead. He also stated that

 with the consent of the dying person it is permissible to use narcotics in

 moderation to alleviate pain, suffering, even if the narcotics hasten death. In

 this case death is not directly desired but is inevitable.

Documentation and registration of LIVING WILL certainly ease pressures and responsibilities of the relatives as well as doctors

When the bill is enacted the response from the literate and the illiterate of Indian citizens remain to be seen. Is there any room for misuse?

Having said all that one might ask –What is my view and decision with regard to my life.

Before I pen my views I would like to narrate two incidents in my family when I have to take two completely different decisions.

1} My mother aged 68 yrs, known hypertensive was on irregular treatment.
One day she complained of severe headache, drooping of one eye lid which is a tell tale sign of P.COM aneurysm-surgeon performed D.S.A to localize the aneurysm—soon she became comatose possible because of internal bleed and was on life supporting ventilator and drugs. Late that night surgeon phoned and wanted my consent for emergency tracheotomy-discussed with my father, brother and even though the chances of recovery was negligible I gave a go ahead signal  for tracheotomy  for the simple reason I didn’t want any stone unturned and avoid retrospective  regret. Next day her soul departed leaving the mortal body behind

2} my father aged 83 yrs was loosing weight, appetite, and getting depressed. Ultrasound abdomen revealed multiple rounded shadows in the liver –possibly secondary metastasis. To confirm we have to biopsy the liver and extensively investigate to identify the primary. In my father’s case I declined to submit him to any investigations for I knew pinpointing the culprit and submitting to chemo/radiation will not improve the quality of life . His condition gradually worsened and his soul departed after a fortnight.

In both cases I feel that I have taken the right decision.

Based on my life experience I will make a LIVING WILL wherein I will state that when I fall sick and any therapy surgical/medical ,will in the opinion of doctors that it will improve my quality of life then I will abide by the decision of doctors. If on the other hand any life supporting measures will not improve the quality of life then I rather prefers to breathe my last peacefully thereby I don’t hold any one of my children responsible