Some elderly have identified conditions that are worse than death, according to a Fox News Health article in “What's worse than death? Dementia and breathing machines, patients say.”
Elderly patients were asked in a survey about a wide range of possibilities and whether they viewed them as worse than death.
Conditions such as being confined in a wheelchair and being at home all day were seen as preferable to death by the majority of those surveyed. However, a wide range of conditions were seen as worse by a majority, including having dementia, incontinence, needing a feeding tube and being unable to get out of bed. The survey was conducted of a very small group of elderly patients who had serious illnesses so it might not be representative of a larger sample.
Anyone who is concerned about living with a condition they think would be worse than death should visit an estate planning attorney to get a living will. This document will allow you to give advanced directives to doctors about treatments not to give you if you become terminally ill with no chance of recovery.
Reference: Fox News Health (Aug. 2, 2016) “What's worse than death? Dementia and breathing machines, patients say.”