Do Not Resuscitate

Do Not Resuscitate

When patients are seriously ill or terminally ill, CPR may not work or may only partially work, leaving the patient brain-damaged or in a worse medical state than before the heart stopped.  In these cases, some patients prefer to be cared for without aggressive efforts at resuscitation upon their death.

A patient, family member or friend may consent to a DNR order so that should the patient’s heart stop beating, they would be left to die and no efforts to resuscitate will be undertaken. This seems a reasonable option when the patient is terminally ill and they know they will die anyway, when they are permanently in a vegetative state and their condition is unlikely to change, and when they know that CPR would be futile either way.

Though this option is favored by others while not supported by many more, it is a position I would like to take for relationships that are dead – Do Not Resuscitate.

Dead in the sense that there is no more love. Dead in the sense that it has a likelihood of causing the death of one or both of the people involved.

We all have heard, watched or read News in the recent past where a lover, a husband, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a wife, killed their partner. In most cases, the people close to the couple weigh in and it normally emerges that the two had innumerable problems. They insisted on sticking together only for them to add to the statistics of death caused by crimes of passion. This in the wake of Oscar Pistorius’ guilt of culpable murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

DNR orders on such relationships would save a lot of people a lot of misery. It would save some lives as well.

A lady appeared on TV the other day to discuss Domestic Violence. She was a victim who endured physical abuse for years. She talked about having to wade off a weapon (was it a knife?) from the hands of her husband at one point. She talked about being strangled and almost dying of asphyxiation. Yet she stayed. She was not about to walk out of her marriage. She was staying put. For the sake of marriage. For the sake of her children.

I don’t understand it when women stay in abusive relationships claiming that they endure it all for the sake of the children. Ask any child who endures violence at home when growing up. Ask them if they are happy that their parents stuck together and tried to kill each other every single day of their marriage. Ask them if they enjoy seeing their mother crying and hurting and cursing their father. Go ahead and find out if they are awfully pleased to have seen their dad come home drunk and cause mayhem, throwing abusive words at their mother in the process. Find out if what you claim to be doing for the sake of your children is actually good for those children!

When you choose to endure an abusive marriage, you most probably have your reasons for doing it.  Don’t drag your children into it. You are not in such a marriage for the sake of the children because they are not insulated from the abuse. They endure it as much as you do. When your husband hits you, he hits your children, albeit without his fist. You might be able to handle the pain, but they cannot and so it hurts them more. When he insults you, he insults your children. Everything he does to you, he does to them.

Children pick up on a lot of what goes on around them. They know when mummy is not happy. When daddy is annoyed. You cannot protect your children from suffering the brunt of domestic violence because at the heat of the moment, caution about the children’s presence is thrown to the wind. Nobody reasons to talk in hushed tones so there is yelling, there is screaming, there is pushing and shoving and slapping and running around the house. In most cases, the children are caught up in the tussle and they could even be used as bargaining chips or used by the weaker spouse as a shield. Children NEVER escape the brunt of domestic violence. So tell me again, you are in it for the sake of the children? How now!?

There are some things that need to die because they do us more damage than good. An abusive relationship should be allowed to rest in peace.

If you argue constantly with your partner and threats like “I will kill you, you piece of rubbish!” “I will cut off your stupid head!” “I will slit your throat!” “I will burn your ugly face!” “I will kill myself and see how you feel about that!” “If I can’t have you, no one else can” if you look at your partner and feel so much bile towards them and all you want is to punch something or someone or him or her, take a step back. You might be approaching the DNR zone. You might have to take a walk and never look back.

The lady who appeared on TV eventually walked away from her marriage. She did this when, I quote, “she stared death in the face” She stopped deluding herself that she was staying put for the sake of her children. You can only use that line for so long. She must have realized that staying in such a dangerous marriage was tantamount to ensuring that her children grew up without a mother. Now imagine that you are murdered and you leave your children in the hands of an abusive man. Doing it for the children indeed!

I beseech couples to issue a DNR order on their relationships when things get out of control. If you cannot live with one another anymore, if you cannot reason and have a decent conversation with each other, if you cannot stop arguing and fighting every waking minute, if you cannot stand each other to the point that you wish for the death of your partner, if there is nothing left to save, then let your relationship die. Start a new life where both of you seek happiness in your own different ways. There really is no need to kill each other.

About that part that says “Till death do us part”, trust me, murder wasn’t the kind of ‘death’ they were talking about here.


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