Should I persuade someone to have treatment?

2 answers | Last updated: Jul 06, 2010
Octoman asked...

Is it ethical to persuade someone who does not want treatment to have the treatment against their will? If you do and they die, are you in any way to blame?

Community Answers

Missy answered...

Hi octoman,

That's a tough situation. On one hand you want, desperately, your loved one to pursue treatment in hopes of a longer life. On the other, treatment for various issues can be so grueling. It's understandable why someone would may choose to not go through it when the end result may be no different than refusing treatment. Truthfully, outside side of mental imcompetence, I don't believe putting someone through treatment against their will is a good choice. While it's heartbreaking to hear "enough is enough" from your loved one, it's a way they can assert some control over their situation. When we went through that with my father-in-law, it felt like he regained a sense of dignity when he decided to put a stop to chemo and radiation.

Regarding blame, that's a tough one. Are the doctors who administer the treatment to blame when it doesn't work? Are we to blame because we encouraged the treatment? Are the drug manufacturers to blame because their product wasn't effective?

Octoman answered...

Oh Missy I love your compassion, I had the opposite problem A relative was diagnosed with cancer I could not advise her against the treatment,because I would be guilty of putting her life at risk. she had the surgery and chemo and it went terribly wrong the cancer spread,she was in agony,she wanted to die and within a very short time she got her wish. later speaking to her shocked husband, he said "I wish she had not had the treatment". I have now come to conclusion I am a special case I have grown with my cancer,it has helped me be more caring,understanding.loving.I am capable of great faith.without which you are dont follow me. unless you have it.