I have posted several times about the heartbreaking situation of my 95-year-old uncle; demented, frail, incontinent, unable to walk and appearing to be pretty unhappy for much of the time (although it's hard to tell).
I visited him today, and the nasty sore on his face has been diagnosed as malignant. And guess what? The dermatologist recommends radiotherapy. This would involve distressing journeys to and from the hospital, disrupted routine, strange faces, more distress at having to lie still, and the painful after-effects of the treatment. And all for what? To keep alive someone who would naturally have died some time ago (he's been kept going by a multiplicity of drugs, antibiotics etc). Add to that the fact that the cancer may well have already spread, and...well, I despair. As next of kin I have made my feelings known, and the staff are very sympathetic, but how can anyone with an ounce of common sense and/or humanity even contemplate such a step? And that's putting aside the expense for a cash-strapped NHS.
As I said, I despair.