HEALTH can be viewed as man’s ability to eat, drink, sleep, pass stools, urine, locomote, use all senses, sleep & think. DISEASE is disruption of Health. DEATH is an unconnected end of life process, which is triggered from within the body (unless it’s a unnatural death)
DISEASE causes suffering. Suffering is due to the body’s defensive mechanisms, which restore health after the duration of the disease. If the time to die has come, then the body’s defensive mechanisms fail to compensate for organ dysfunction (failure) and escalate into larger but futile attempts at restoring health. Suffering intensifies and ends in death.
Disease may not cause death and death may not necessarily have any disease preceding it.
AGE-ING causes degenerative problems of wear and tear of tissues which have served for many years before wearing off! Old age is the last phase of whatever is a biologically predetermined duration)
Death is always a painless cardiac arrest & stopping of all human systems by pre planned & coordinated cellular timing. However the process of dying may be painful and full of suffering. At times it may be sudden and unexpected without suffering.
Suffering is severe distress. It may be the inability to bear discomfort or the presence of many systemic symptoms which handicap normal life. There are people who cannot bear minimal discomfort while there are others who will not crib even if they are severely distressed.
GRADATION OF SUFFERING: This is quite useful to objectivize the patient’s condition and quantify the grade of suffering before imminent death.
This may help in deciding further course of action i.e. whether to die at home or in a hospital. It is always preferable to die at home, surrounded by ones relatives rather than in an indifferent hospital environment.
The below guide may actually help you to judge the level of suffering rather than jump to conclusions. This may help in increasing your confidence in keeping the patient at home. However you are advised to consult your doctor in such matters while expressing strongly your desire to let the patient die at home