A woman’s life hangs in the balance, the result of the random act of a rock being thrown from an overpass. A young American doctor contracts the Ebola virus while working to save Liberian victims of the same disease. Terry Schiavo. Nancy Cruzan. Karen Ann Quinlan. Jahi McMath.
Random acts (whether of violence, accidents, or health crises) occur with lightning speed across our world with differing outcomes: some people live, some die; others are in limbo in between life and death – fighting, struggling, coping, surviving.
Obviously, we can’t know when these random events will occur or to whom they will happen. We could all let imaginations run wild contemplating the random events we might encounter. That would likely drive us all a bit mad.
But when I read about people like those in the opening paragraph, I can’t help but see the opportunity for each of us to wonder what we would do if it were happening to us or someone we loved. And not just wonder … but have real, honest, heart-and-soul-searching discussions with those we love. Loved ones are more-often-than-not put in the position of making healthcare decisions on behalf of a loved one who cannot speak for herself/himself.
It is hard to imagine what one would do in countless situations. Contemplating our own death can stir emotions we’d rather let unexplored. But saving our loved ones from having to make heart-wrenching life-or-death decisions can be our last loving act regardless of which random event put us in that situation.
We lift up positive thoughts and healing prayers for those who are victims of random acts and for their families who are forced to face decisions they’d rather not.
Caring Choices hopes individuals and families will contemplate the randomness of life and begin conversations. Making decisions while you are healthy may not seem appealing to many. Perhaps saving your loved ones from agonizing, fast-paced decision-making in times of a medical crisis may offer some motivation to start discussions.