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ECT News Community   »   TechNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Terminal Patients Don't Hang on Until After Holidays

Re: Terminal Patients Don't Hang on Until After Holidays
Posted by: Liz Szabo 2004-12-22 15:08:29
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Most doctors and nurses who treat people dying of cancer have noticed a striking phenomenon: frail patients who manage to postpone their deaths to get through a holiday, birthday or special event. A handful of scientific studies over the years have supported that notion. Studies have found that deaths among Jewish patients rose after Passover, that deaths among elderly Christians increased after Christmas and that deaths among Chinese-American women peaked after a Harvest Moon Festival.

Re: Terminal Patients Don't Hang on Until After Holidays
Posted by: chrysler 2004-12-22 17:20:23 In reply to: Liz Szabo
I must say that the research that the scientists did is valid, but I have a few qualms with that based upon both personal experience and the experiences of several of my friends.
Currently, my grandmother is dying. A bit over a week ago, she was given "a couple of weeks" by her doctors. However, in the past few days, she has rallied. She has expressed her wish to have a good Christmas with the rest of the family and knowing her, she will do what she intends. Will to live has not been lost. As well, many of my friends have had relatives who were dying during the holidays or close to the time of important family anniversaries and because they wanted/needed to live through the holidays or until the time of the important family event, they did.
I realize death cannot be controlled, but there is an argument for the will to live that cannot be denied. I have heard of numerous cases of terminally ill patients who have said to a close friend or relative, "I will live to see Christmas. I will live to see my grandchild born." They have lived until those dates and then died a week or so later, knowing the joy that their families and friends had seeing them alive for the holidays or other important family events. Science is one thing, but the will to carry on, even if just for another week, is another thing entirely.
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