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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
WHEN SHOULD HOSPITAL LIFE-SUPPORT BE REMOVED?
I am writing this article because there have been several very prominent cases in the news in recent years regarding people being kept at least temporarily on life support and some for many years as in the case of Ariel Sharon (8 years) and Terry Schiavo (7 years). For simplicity's sake I will comment on the general details of these cases, the principles will remain the same in all such cases.
In one of these recent cases, a young girl went to the hospital for a routine operation and because of unforeseen complications, ended up brain dead, at least brain dead in the opinion of several attending doctors. The medical consensus seems to be that the young girl being brain dead, for all practical purposes is truly dead. But for the fact that she shows some small movements from time to time, she shows no discernable brain activity. Her parents hold a different view and insist that she is still alive.
As many of you will no doubt remember several years ago, a similar case of Terry Schiavo gained prominence in the news after she suffered severe cardiac arrest in her home in St. Petersburg Florida. She suffered severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen leaving her in a coma and was eventually diagnosed as brain dead and in a permanent vegetative state.
The ensuing legal challenges between her parents and her husband disputing her condition and the disagreement on whether or not to remove her from life-support resulted in her being maintained in this unresponsive state for over seven years. Different procedures were tried attempting to coax her back to a state of semi-awareness, but to no avail. Finally courts granted permission to remove her feeding tube and in accordance with several court-ordered legal decisions, the feeding tube was permanently removed and she died thirteen days later.
The question still remains on the Schiavo case and in most other similar cases, that question being, when is dead really dead and when should one who is presumed dead be removed from life support and allowed to pass from coma to true separation of consciousness from the physical organism and termination of pseudo life functions? This question is complicated by religious beliefs regarding termination of life.
As long as there are misconceptions about what life is, there will always be questions about who is alive and who is not, who is in a coma and who is dead. Unfortunately, few if any people know what truly constitutes life and still fewer understand the true nature of death so no wonder such difficult decisions are usually made on incomplete knowledge based on ancient myths, legends and superstition as interpreted by various religions.
I will ignore religious discussion here for two reasons, one being that we are not discussing individual beliefs and I think most of my readers are evolved enough to understand that much of religious belief is based on the aforementioned myth and superstition and parables and is something that must be evolved through and beyond before any true spiritual and psychic understanding is possible, and that takes time, usually much time.
So, if you are deeply entrenched in religious dogma, this may be a good point for you to exit this discussion, for it will be impossible for you to understand what is said here. I am not attempting in any way to pass judgment or determine the state of life or death of any particular human being or for that matter, any living entity regardless of species.
I think most of you understand by now, that there is a division of the personality with one aspect being a psychic focus of the mental portion of the overall identity focused consciousness commonly known as the "personality". The other aspect constitutes the collective biological focus of the physically materialized consciousness of the atoms, molecules and cells, each responsible for separate bodily and mental functions of the human personality. In other words, one aspect of your being is subjective and the other is biological. Before you are born as an independent personality, your consciousness had already existed as an undifferentiated portion of your Soul/Entity.
In that undifferentiated state before "life" as you know it began, you have existed eternally although not as in an individualized, self-aware identity. You were given what you refer to as independent "LIFE" by your Soul/Entity through a process that could be called a partitioning of the Soul consciousness, splintering off a portion of his/its consciousness and projecting it into the three dimensional, physical, Earth reality system. In other words, you existed but not as an independent self-aware personality. You became self-aware later on in the process.
We may as well go all the way with this thought stream, if you are reading this, you are alive and you are alive eternally. Life is a state of becoming and death is a progression in that becoming.
Your physical form will change and your consciousness will evolve until it will be unrecognizable from its present state, but you will be as frisky and alive a thousand years from now as you are today, just in different ways. In other words, you are just beginning the journey and the journey never ends.
Your main self-aware directing consciousness is but one aspect of your personal independent consciousness. Early on your self-aware, directing consciousness had to be able to handle the intense focus of the biological body dealing with physical reality. It could not afford to, nor does it have the ability to handle the precise and necessary functions of the countless involuntary systems of the physical body.
If you had to consciously think and direct the countless functions of your physical body to breathe, your heart to beat, your nervous system to function, interacting with your sensual apparatus carrying your perception to the brain, sorting out the meaning of those perceptions and then directing the instantaneous bodily reactions, you would be swamped with data that you could not handle.
Your physical body is a gestalt accumulation of untold millions of small independent consciousnesses. "Everything That Is" possesses consciousness. Electrons, atoms, molecules and all other particles, seen and unseen, all possess their own independent generalized type of consciousness, and these together form a "body consciousness" that handles the spontaneous and instantaneous bodily functions that are far beyond your consciously aware abilities.
So, there is a division of consciousness into the main directing consciousness that you call your ego self and the body consciousness. This partitioning works well so the main consciousness is not distracted from its duties of maintaining the personality in the three-dimensional reality system.
In other words, you don't have to consciously know how your lungs breathe; you don't have to know how your heart beats automatically or your fingers can pick up a pea on a table. If you had to give your hands and fingers directions to do that one simple task, it would never be done. Your inner bodily consciousness works in perfect unison with the main directing consciousness, to the extent that it can maintain the biological portion of the identity even when the main consciousness is traveling out of the body, and this happens quite often.
The main personality consciousness can leave the body as it often does when projecting from the dream state into other dimensions. The body consciousness maintains the body in a subsistence state until the main consciousness returns home from its travels. Biologically, the body is well taken care of even while the personality is "out to lunch" so to speak, and this "out to lunch state" could be while traveling in your familiar neighborhood or entirely out of this universe.
In short, your consciousness leaves your physical body often from the dream state, even though you may be totally unaware that you have done so, since you are usually not consciously aware of the feat you have performed when you awaken.
Personality consciousness can forsake the physical body for varying lengths of time and this does not constitute a state of death. The main consciousness is gone, no more and no less than in death. The body consciousness is well aware of the vacancy and is well prepared to carry out its duties and maintain the body during the absence, until the personality consciousness returns. These projections are commonly referred to as "Out Of Body" states.
As I have said many times before, I am not a physician, psychologist or any other health professional and have limited knowledge of the medical profession and I know absolutely nothing about sickness or illness. My interests have always been slanted toward knowledge of the origin of sickness or illness and here I include what you commonly call a more permanent illness called death.
What most people don't understand is that in greater terms, death as you know it does not really exist, at least in terms that you usually apply to the word, but I know what you mean, so I will discuss it briefly along those lines. Please bear this in mind, bodies die, identities live forever and utilize many bodies. Consciousness creates and then adopts form and not the other way around; it did not erupt from dead, inert physical matter.
In the cases now in the news, there is disagreement on whether or not the patient is alive or dead. There is enough written about the varying opinions, so I need not go there, but there are other aspects that are more important in this discussion.
You cannot identify a particular point of death with medical instruments to any degree of accuracy because death is something that the personality goes through as it begins the process of disentangling itself from its physical body. You are your Soul in physical clothing while you are alive, but your Soul is more.
While you are alive, you are "Soul Stuff" interwoven through every cell, every molecule and every organ of the physical body. Every memory or thought that you have ever had is maintained, and the separation of Spirit from Body does not happen instantaneously, even in cases of fatal accidents.
You are aware that even in the case of absolute physical death, the body consciousness does not die immediately and may maintain certain parts of the body for years after death. Hair and fingernails can continue to grow for years, even centuries after the main personality consciousness has left the physical body behind.
The medical profession has contributed to much of the confusion about physical death and now has the technology to prolong what should be a natural progression through utilization of artificial means into an unnatural coma-like state indefinitely. I realize that this statement will meet with some trepidation, but some of you will recognize its validity. No man, woman or child has ever died that did not want to die. Conversely, no fetus was ever born that did not desire to live.
As you know, or at least I hope you know, consciousness exists before and after the physical body.
The identity consciousness is well aware when death is imminent and can choose to accept the death event or make necessary adjustments. No death will ever be died that is not prepared to die. (Translation; in death nothing is ended, the body is discarded and you take a huge step forward into a new beginning. Unknowingly, you are probably already familiar with this process.
The real reason why you are so reluctant to let death take its natural course is that you identify your personality almost exclusively with the physical body and so you equate death of the body with annihilation of the Soul or Self. Physical bodies die but consciousness is eternal.
This mistaken assumption is mostly because of identification with the ego and the ego fears its extinction. The identity of a tree, plants and most animals, have no compartment of the ego to cut short their ability to sense their existence beyond their physical destruction, and so they can follow their continuity of life through many consecutive lives with no fear of their death or destruction.
Medical advances have given you the ability to prolong the death experience of the patient for years in a coma or coma-like vegetative state. The patient will remain alive until the main consciousness has vacated the physical body and the main consciousness will never sever the thread of life until the physical body is rendered inoperable either through results of injury or advanced age.
If the self-consciousness for some unknown reason desires not to live, it will find a way to die and no potions, incantations, procedures or life support paraphernalia will be able to keep it alive against its wishes.
The body consciousness gestalt can minimally sustain the body for years when supported by artificial breathing and feeding tubes and other medical devices. In many cases doctors and family don't realize that they are maintaining a shell that will never be reactivated once the directing main consciousness has decided on death and it has been allowed its freedom.
In short, the presence of the main ego consciousness is the determining factor of whether or not life still exists in the physical body. It can appear that life exists as long as the body consciousness is even minimally present.
In many cases where there is little if any apparent bodily activity, the main consciousness has long ago turned its attention to the new after-death dimension, which it will easily transition into the instant the plug is pulled.
Generally the personality has already re-established contacts with old friends and family from the current and previous lives that have already transitioned. They are focused in the after-death dimension even though their physical body may still have the appearance of life or un-life.
It is pure lunacy to assume that the dying person given a choice would want to remain on life support as a vegetable when they are already involved to some extent in a new life of total freedom. The Soul knows what it is up to, so why do you think you know better?
Terminal patients are kept alive unnaturally not because of the wishes of the patient, but for the gratification of the remaining family. It would make things easier it you realized that death is not a bad thing; it is a perfectly natural progression that leads to new life and that is a good thing. If that were not the case, you would not be reading this article.
Maintaining the life of a vegetable makes no sense unless you are growing vegetables.
You must quit it!
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