Members of my family are debating what’s right and wrong regarding our cat Oscar’s end-of-life experience. Twice I have scheduled home euthanasia for Oscar on a Monday and twice I have cancelled that appointment to allow Oscar to move further along to a natural death. It’s difficult to tell what’s right and what’s wrong with Oscar, because he
- continues to engage with us,
- eats a little every once in a while,
- rarely shows obvious signs of pain,
- is very unsteady,
- is so good-natured he rarely complains, and
- is so wonderful that we want as much time with him as we can get.
It might be right and wrong that I scheduled a phone consultation about Oscar’s quality of life tonight and another home euthanasia visit tomorrow (which I might cancel again).
Michael, Aaron, and I have spent many hours discussing what’s right and wrong with Oscar. We wonder if we are being selfish if we keep him alive and we wonder if we are being selfish if we euthanize him. Right and wrong can be subjective, especially in a situation like this one.
I’ve asked Oscar what’s right and wrong for him, but he hasn’t told me.
Do you see right and wrong in my photos from yesterday?
That last image might show right and wrong ways to respond to a difficult person. With all that’s wrong in the world, it’s right to speak up and effectively act for change.
I sometimes worry that I’m doing wrong even when I’m doing right, so it was nice to get this feedback for my annual review from a doctor I work with:
Ann is the most amazing social worker in Boston. My patients often tell me “Ann is life changing.” She has an ability to connect and help any patient I send her way no matter their story or background. She has had a tremendous impact on even my most challenging complex patients. I would send my own family members to her in a heartbeat. She amazes me more and more each year. I feel so lucky to have her on my team. I have seen her in action a few times (providing therapy to my patients in front of me) and she is clearly a master of masters.
One patient told me “if the world had more Ann Koplow’s it would be a better place. My solution to violence and racism and suffering is to provide each Family an Ann.”
It may not be right for that doctor to claim I’m the most amazing social worker in Boston if she hasn’t met all of them (which she hasn’t), but I defend her right to say it. I don’t know what’s right or wrong to say about that patient’s proposed solution to violence and racism and suffering.
Here‘s a song that starts with the lyrics “do me wrong, do me right”:
I’ll be lonelier when Oscar leaves us, no matter when or how. (That last sentence is an “I” statement, a right way to own one’s feelings and minimize defensive reactions.)
There’s nothing wrong about expressing thoughts and feelings, so please express yours in a comment right below this post.
Gratitude always seems right, so thanks to all who help me blog each and every right and wrong day, including YOU.