: No other choice

07-09-2002, 02:29 PM
Ive met someone in an airport sometimes in the past who told me this puzzle

If you have a patient who sleeps in a hospital for a very critical case with which he lives on life support equipment, if the equipment switched off he will die immediately

the cost of operating the equipment is too high, it's several hundreds of dollars per hour and the hope for him to recover and get back to his normal life or at least to live without the help of that equipment is very limited which means, he will continue to live with the support of that costly operated machine for unknown length of time

You cant afford paying that increasing amount of dollars, in the mean time, you cant instruct the hospital to turn off the equipment as that means the death of your patient

What will you do in such a case? As for me as Muslim I cant make a decision of killing the patient by instructing them to switch off the machine if I do so Ill be accused for a homicide crime in addition to a social criticism of causing a dear to die over keeping my money

But if his life continues to last long in such a situation Ill run out of money then we both will end up with a bad consequence, as Ill go to jail for being burdened with debts that I cant clear out and he will die ,anyway, for having no money to operate the machine for him

the man who was telling me this puzzle has taken his flight to a different destination from mine but he didnt tell me how to act to get the best result in such a case

Im sure he doesnt have a solution for it either and there is no solution at all for it, but in reality there are cases as such where some people find themselves helpless not only to rescue someone who is dying in front of them but for being forced to participate in expediting his death as well when they find the death is the only choice

Ive heard of stories in Africa where children let their mother dies because of limitation of food famine either the mother eats and the kids die or the kids eat and the mother dies of course mothers are the only ones who sacrifice their lives to rescue others their children

07-09-2002, 02:40 PM

The equation is too hrad.. Either he lives and you lose all your money

Or he dies, and you face an unlimited sense of self-hatred

Both are hard.. but thank God for our hospitals and for our government which insures a safe, easy and cheep way for patients to be recovered or to hang on to life for the longset time possible if they were unable to pay

The thing is

I felt sorry for what you wrote in your last paragraph

You know, those words brought back an image in my memory which I couldn't erase though I had seen it so long ago

It is an image of an African child who is starving.. The child is crawiling on all fours trying to reach the refuge camp and fine a drop of water or a bite of food

A bird (I don't know the name in English) is waiting from a afar and watching the child's every move and waiting for his death so he can eat his body

The thing is.. The person who took this image disappeared for a long time.. and finally, they found him dead in his apartment.. he had commited suicide

What a tragedy

No one knows what happened to the child or if he ever reached the camp

Thank you Khuder

it is nice to remind people every now and then how good it is to be alive and to have food and water

Thanks again

07-09-2002, 03:17 PM

you missed a point in my article which was the loss of the money was not a concern if that will help to keep the patient stay alive but the point was even if the money is lost the hope for him to stay alive was very low

Ive seen the same image youve talked about, I agree with you it was a painful one but Ive heard of a story which is worse than that one

A family that was immigrating by walk from their village to another town escaping from starvation, on their way the food
that they had was decreasing as they were walking their way, the father decided to give up eating to save the food for the
rest f the family after a while he starved to death then they left him behind and continued their trip, then the mother gave up eating to save the lives of her children till she died too, the children kept on moving ahead but they got lost as they didnt know to which direction they should go, then they got back to the body of their mother and stayed there

The person who told this story to me was there in Africa in a rescuing and religious mission, he saw the children while he and other people with him were on their way to the same town that the family was heading to, he saw the children while they were eating the flesh of their mothers body as they didnt find food to eat.

07-09-2002, 03:35 PM

What a sad imagie that is

I was reading your words and imaginings the immigrants in my head

A horrible picture, indeed

We should all be thankful for what we have even if it were little, for it is better than nothing

Thank you