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Acts of Mercy

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posted on May, 17 2007 @ 07:53 AM
This is a subject that, should the Sit.X hit the fan, we may very well be faced with.

The Scenario is that after a mass socially-disrupting event that has created mass national panic and hysteria, you and your family and several of your neighbours band together to pool resources and survival skills, but one of your party has sustained serious injuries...there's no chance of getting them to a hospital or even any hope of basic medical treatment at the hands of a trained medic, and their condition is worsening by the day. The only medical provisions you have at your disposal are what could be found in yours and your neighbours' bathroom cabinets

What would you do?

Would you have the ability to look a fellow human in the eye and take their life as quickly and humanely as possible to save their further suffering?

Would you sit by and watch a member of your party die in agony from their injuries?

Would you risk yours and the lives of others in the party to try take the injured member to a hospital or medical centre?

posted on May, 17 2007 @ 08:19 AM
First, my wife is a medical professional . . . so for the sake of this I'll imagine that she is injured and unconscious--unable to render advice for her own care.

Well, frankly, hospitals in my area are already overwhelmed by the mass of people who have no insurance, but get free healthcare courtesy of the taxpayer. These folks don't go to doctors for healthcare, because individual doctor's practice can refuse them care if they won't pay.

So they all go to the Emergency Room every time they have a health complaint. If they need a note for their kid to skip school, they take him/her to the ER. If they have a headache, or cannot read the dosage on their medicine bottle, or if they have the flu, they go to the ER to wait. And wait. And wait.

From what my wife has told me about the local county ER, the wait is 2 to three hours during the day, without a disaster! On a Saturday night, the "County Knife and Gun Club" (term used by hospital staff) means you will wait 12 to 18 hours in the ER to see an MD.

If there is a disaster, and people are frightened, I figure the crowds will by 3 times or so more than usual. A lot of them will be very frightened, and probably violent.

I'm not going there.

Frau Dr. has a book case full of medical books, and her bag. We also have a cabinet full of antibiotics I bought last year when I was on business in Mexico--you don't need a prescription there.

I'd muddle through at home until we had a fairly good reason to believe we could get her to see a doctor on this side of town.


After re-reading your original post, I'd say that I wouldn't take someone's life because I THOUGHT they were getting worse and worse. I don't know enought to predict the future. Mountain man Hugh Glass had both his legs broken in a grizzly bear attacks, in winter in the rockies. Jim Bridger and a third explorer left him for dead. He survived, and crawled 200 miles on legs he set himself, to get vengeance on the men who abandoned him.

So, I'm not betting that anyone is beyond hope. I'd find them some painkillers. If nothing else, my bottle of The Glenlivet.

I have a friend who was given 6 months to live by her doctors. That was in 2002 . . . .

IF they are in such pain as you describe, it will only go on for a day or two, if the end is REALLY near.


[edit on 17-5-2007 by dr_strangecraft]

posted on May, 17 2007 @ 08:45 AM
I was deliberating on how to answer this.

Very, very hard to provide an answer to something that hasn't occured in my life - Something that other posters will agree with as well.

My responses to your question will be 'mine alone', and may or may not correspond to others views.

With that in mind, here goes:

I was brought up in a 'close-knit' family. We are strong-minded individuals living separte lives, and yet, if one family member cries out for help we are there in a heartbeat to help that person out to the best of our abilities.

We are fortunate to have this bond.

It is built on many positive attributes; you name it. However the one word that comes to mind is: Trust.

For as long as the good Lord keeps breaths in our bodies, we trust each other to work in unison for the better good. It's more than an expectation, it's an acceptance.

My mother sat us all down to discuss the 'what ifs' regarding their eventual passing. (Nobody wants to hear those things; hell, who does, but it's a fact of life we all must somehow accept into our being.) She also mentioned the possibility of 'what if' she were to end up in the hospital on life-support; with no chance of ever retaining her 'quality of life' that she once had, and had degenerated to a vegatable state. Her wishes were explicit: She didn't want to be in that state, and wanted one of us to 'pull the plug'. If she couldn't communicate with us, or put her arms around us to give us love, etc. she wanted to be set free.

My mother is alive and well with us, but every once in a while I think about her words.

How I will react when the time comes, if it ever comes, (she may pass quietly in her sleep - who knows?) remains to be seen. All I know is that I will abide by her wishes; having done so with the utmost love and sadness in my heart.

I'm sure everyone has pitted their imaginations to worst case scenerios and have thought out the best possible routes, but in a nutshell, until we ever get to that moment in time, what we 'think' we might do, may not be the same as what we 'will' do.

posted on May, 17 2007 @ 09:51 PM
Depending on the injury I would be able to help them. However, lets say there is absolutely nothing I can do for them, being they have two crushed legs, an arm thats broke and one eye gouged out and in short: they look like a ragdoll that got drug behind a 4x4 on a backroad, were suffering extreme blood loss:
I would be willing to end their life to prevent further suffering.
However I would first off try and keep them alive and cure/repair whatever is wrong.

Edit: added 1 extra line

[edit on 17-5-2007 by Vekar]

posted on May, 18 2007 @ 07:32 AM
Some really good answers here...

The only 'act of mercy' toward a family member I have experienced was as a kid taking my ancient cancer-riddled but much loved moggy to the vets for the big-sleep, and it took me a long long time to understand why sometimes it is more of a humane act to spare anothers further suffering with a swift and sure blow

Ok, it's not in the same league as the hypothetical survival scenario, but as has been said before, it's one of those situations that unless it presents itself, there is just no way you could imagine how you'd react. I'd like to think that I could summon the fortitude to do what was right...treat the injured member as best as possible and make them most comfortable, and weigh up the situation from there, but euthanasia would certainly be an act of last resort.

...donating the bottle of Glenlivet would certainly be a humane act indeed Dr Strangecraft!

Which brings me to a second hypothetical:

Would you consider packing a 'suicide option' (ie: a pill bottle stuffed with barbituates etc) in with your BoB kit should you be incapacitated to the extent that Vekar describes?


posted on May, 18 2007 @ 08:11 AM
I think as well it would depend on the patients response that would influence or change your mind on any decision you may make.

Of course it's going to be hard to kill a loved one or friend or even think about it...yet when your stuck there and realising your already low supplies are dwindiling away and your putting everyone else in danger by remaining in the same position where potentially another event could happen you have to think for everbody else as well now.

Basically in my opinion it could boil down to the crossroads of your patient realising the reality of the situation and they themselves assess:

* If the group could make it to any hospital or if there are any in the area.
* Supplies of the group
* Extent of the wound
* Experience of the group i.e. Medical experience if your internally bleeding or something is anybody in the group experienced enough to combat that?

Again this leads to another set of decisions:

1. The patient thinks they can make it
2. The patient know's no matter how hard people try there is no chance.

And then it's up to you after the patient has made there decision to basically be the arbirator of the decision or not.

Firstly yes the person will be in fear and no one want's to die so they may try and delude themselves into thinking they can make it or again go into shock and think they will die when actually they won't cause you can save them. What you have to do is communicate with everyone in the group and keep the patient relaxed yet the patient must also understand there part in this before making any decision.

It's all about the situation and doing what you believe is right as well personally i would try and save the patient anyway i could even moving the group to try and find a hospital etc. just because i wouldn't personally be able to live with the idea of not trying to help and having doubts eat away at me but if it came down to the crunch and i had to kill the patient then i would have to do it and just learn to live with it.

posted on May, 18 2007 @ 04:52 PM
I have thought about this for a few days now, its such a difficult thing to think about.

Every day im at work i end animals lives, it is so routine i now do it without giving it a second thought. It is different because i don't have a bond with these animals, butthis is totaly different to human being and someone you are close to.

It would take a very strong person to end their loved ones lives, i very much doubt i could look into somones eyes and make myself end their life.

[edit on 18/5/07 by manta]

posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 10:15 AM
Good thread. I'd end their life for them as a last resort but it would be worth finding out about these things in advance what would be the gentlest way to go about it. I've often wondered, if I'm in the situation where my family and neighbours are in that type of survival scenario, and an obvious "nutter" joins the group, he gives off an air of total danger and no-one has felt secure since he arrived, what should I do? I'm a mum with kids to look after, he's much stronger than me. Should I top him? And how? It would have to be quick and easy, 'cos if I failed he'd get up and top me, then eat my kids for breakfast.

posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 10:39 AM
This is a very tough question to answer.There are so many variables to consider.It would depend on the type of situation you and your group found yourselves in.The condition of the person involved and how close you are to that person.I personally watched my mother die in excruciating pain in her hospital room.She had signed a DNR order, so the doctor and nurses did nothing while I stood there screaming and crying.I was 22 and had lost my dad the same way when I was 10.The point is she wished to pass on.I wish it could have been made easier for her.No one wants to die a painful death.We can find it in ourselves to put down an animal in pain, but not a human.Yes i do agree with assisted suicide for those in extreme pain and little chance for recovery.It should be their choice.Now if I were faced with making that decision about one of my children, I would try everyway possible to save their life.It is just my instinct.I doubt I could bring myself to end the life of my child.

[edit on 14-6-2007 by AccessDenied]

posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 01:44 PM
Concidering that our Recon team medpack contained only morphine overdoses, you might guess my answer...

Abdominal gunshot wounds and similar traumas are generally fatal so i think that i would end the misery of those fatally wounded. (I mean those with hours to live... diseased etc are a different story)

Ps. The army kit officially contains lots of other items, but in a high speed recon op, in the middle of a russian division, carrying wounded team member means that the rest of team is pretty much dead. So we had a deal that if the guy is wounded and can handle a gun we leave him and try to come back later, if he's unconsius and bleeding, we end his misery. (not an official policy of the FDF, just a pact made by soldier to soldier)

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