Do you think drs. are right when they say someone will die within..

@AnnaB7 (757)
United States
July 4, 2008 10:20pm CST
within a period of time? Like three to five years? I am just wondering because I know someone who had a doctor tell him that he would die within three to five years. I am wondering if the doctor is just guessing or would there be some other reason for a doctor to say that? Do doctors see so many people dying that they get so they can see the signs of death that far in advance? Or is the doctor just trying to shock a patient into listening to him so that they will get better?
6 people like this
19 responses
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
5 Jul 08
I have had so many close friends and family get a time limit on their lives by doctors. I hate it to be totally honest. Usually what happens is when the doctor tells you that they are dying they start to freak out. I rather go through life not knowing when I am going to die. I will always continue to live my life to the fullest with no regrets and not holding back on anything. When my time is up my time is up. At least I had a full fun life.
2 people like this
@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I think that is a good idea, but I wonder if the doctor may really be right my friend is really not all that old, I don't want my friend to die, when your friends have been told that have they lived years longer than their doctors said or has the doctors been pretty close to right?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 08
The doctor is obligated to tell you if you have cancer, or any kind of sickness. The first question people ask is doc how long do I have? It isn't the doctor saying well I think you have 1 year to live because you have cancer. It is not a doctors practice to give a time line it is a patients question that gets the answer. I do indeed wish your friend a good recovery if that is possible. Miracles happen every day! If the doc is right I wish your friend a full and happy life. Stay positive and live life to the fullest!
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
My friend does not have cancer but he does have a lot of other problems. He is on three different types of medicines for diabetes, two kinds for high blood pressure, plus an aspirin a day,plus a cholesteral pill, it is worryisome to me to think he could actually die for real.
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@zeroflashx2 (2491)
• Philippines
5 Jul 08
Interesting. Yeah, some of them are even accurate to the day and patients to expire at that day the doctor mentioned. I'm no doctor but I believe they do have a basis on giving out such information. I notice that cancer, most of the time, gets a more accurate reading from doctors. Sad to say, they are true sometimes. Whatever purpose the doctor may have in telling this to a patient, it's time for the patient to have a new look at life and what remains of it. It is staggering to know such information especially if we are the ones who will die. But telling this to persuade a person to try and get better, I think there are better ways of doing that like giving a more positive advise. Take care and happy posting.
@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I hope that in the case i mentioned that the doctor is wrong, because it would be really bad in my opinion if the doctor is right, it is also very scary for me. to even think about.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Jul 08
That's a good point Anna. Whether it's true or not, accurate or way off, it is still scary. I'd be scared as well. Not good information at all... At some level though, it may be better to know than to be surprised. However, the goodbye's may be unbearable.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
yes in my case the good byes will be unbearable, hopefully the doctors are just wrong it is hard to think someone you know will die soon.
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@mialei23 (2386)
• Philippines
5 Jul 08
This is not like a premonition or what. Doctors tend to give some span of life, like on cancer patient or with a patient diagnosed with AIDS. They are considering this base on the health history of the patient. Some patients are really rely on doctors on this kind of situations and only miracles can make people lives longer. Well it doesn't mean if they say "you have 2 years to live" doesn't mean you will depend on it. This might happen if the patient will not undergo necessary treatment, the span of living will maybe longer.Health care providers are not giving assurance because this is under the code ethics. If a Doctor reassure a patient is going to live long, the patient will rely on the Doctor and whatever happens the Doctor will be reliable for it.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
That sounds reasonable to me, maybe the doctor means without treatment for a medical condition or something
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• Indonesia
5 Jul 08
i think the doctors estimate it based on the patients' health condition.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I think that this sounds like a reasonable explanation
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@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
5 Jul 08
More than likely the doctor is trying to shock the patient into working on improving their health so that this doesn't happen. Perhaps they have a medical condition that they don't take care of properly. Sometimes I wish they were a little more accurate though. Last year they told me my mom had about 6 more months to live. Unfortunately he wasn't even close. She only lived another 10 days. I wish he had been better at predicting this so I could have been better prepared.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Maybe that is a good idea for some patients, I am sorry that the doctor was not right on your mom, He may have though she had less time but wanted to make her think she had longer so maybe she would have a stronger will to live, do you think that could be possible.
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@greysfreak (1385)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Well, I think it probably depends on the persons health situation. It might be also from the doctors observations in the past. But I don't think anyone could tell someone that they would for sure die within a certain amount of time. I have heard of cancer patients and people with other terminal illnesses who were told they had months or very few years left, but they ended up living much much longer than they were supposed to. I think there are a lot of factors involved. And I doubt that the doctors actually lie to their patients, but I do think they need to be careful, because mindset is a big part of survival, if someone tells you that you are going to die soon you would most likely either take the route of taking a lot of risks and living your life dangerously, because you were told you won't be around much longer, or you sink so deep into depression, and that could affect their health negatively. So it really is a big responsibility for doctors to tell the patient that they "could" die in a certain amount of time, but also give the patient ways that they could help to prolong their life, and try to keep the patient in the right state of mind to live the healthiest life possible.
2 people like this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I think for the most part it is just an educated guess on the part of the doctors based on the circumstances and previous cases like it that they have seen themselves or studied about. It is possible that your friend will live longer, but it is also possible that he could die in less than that amount of time. I do not think that a doctor(a good one anyway) would lie to a patient just to get them to listen.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
That is very scary then because I really do not want my friend to die, my friend also has a lot of pent up grief in addition to health problems so this is very worrysome to me.
1 person likes this
• Turkey
5 Jul 08
I think that it's just an educated guess. No can tell you exactly what day and time you're going to die but Doctors can do an estimate that goes along with their knowledge of the body and it's workings...
@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
7 Jul 08
i agree that is probably how a doctor comes up with the idea that someone will die sooner than what is average for a person of a particular age, It is sad though when the patient does not seem to want to do anything to change the diagnoses that the doctor gives them, I think that sometimes people just give up to fast.
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• Turkey
7 Jul 08
I think some people take a doctor's guesstimate as God's word and they lack hope. Sadly, all we can do is try to lighten their load and encourage them as much as we can. Let them know and remind them that it was in fact just a GUESS and not a fact...
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
7 Jul 08
I agree I think that sometimes people will believe the doctor knows everything when really the doctor only knows what they can see based on their limited knowledge, doctors are not God after all, thanks for your response.
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• Lubbock, Texas
5 Jul 08
As many other posters have pointed out, the Dr. makes the prediction based on past case histories, the patients individual stats and a lot of other considerations. The Dr. doesn't make this prediction lightly, but does feel the patient has the right to know in order to "put their house in order". The final outcome can depend on how the patient takes this news. If they just say ok the Dr. said I'd die in this time, they will accept it and be gone in that time. On the other hand they may fight tooth and nail to stay alive. Some accept the fact they are going to die and get on with living their life as if there were no tomorrow. Many times these in the last category do beat the disease, so I would say it's not just the disease that takes their lives, it's their mental attitude toward it. I know you don't want your friend to die, so don't dwell on it and try to keep your friends mind occupied with other things.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
thank you very much I think that somethings have a lot to do with your attitude, and sometimes i think my friend is tired of living because there is so much stress in his life, maybe he will decide to get better that would be great.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I hope my friend does not decide life is just too hard, sometimes I think he could very well do that. Maybe he won't but he has had so many griefs in his life and he is getting older now/
@mayka123 (10598)
• India
5 Jul 08
I think doctors just take a guess. About 21 years ago I was very sick in hospital and the doctors gave the verdict that I would not live for more than 8 hours. That was around 1 am. I was married just 5 months that time. The whole family came rushing to the hospital at night but by morning I was fine.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I am glad for you that the doctors were wrong, that would be very hard on your new husband to of lost his wife so soon after marriage, and hard for the rest of your family too.,
@mayka123 (10598)
• India
7 Jul 08
Yes I am glad i am fine now.
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@irishidid (8563)
• United States
6 Jul 08
My aunt was given three months. She wanted to die sooner and she did, lasting barely a week. I believe it has to do with the person's determination to live or die.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
6 Jul 08
That is very sad, I am sorry your aunt gave up on life so soon, it sounds like she was depressed and just tired of living for some reason
@trowbdon (167)
• Canada
6 Jul 08
I think doctors don't always know... I have an Aunt who use to be a foster parent, and she was good at it. She took in one little girl who was unable to use one arm very well. The doctors said she would never use it normal. the childrens aid said no one would adopt her because on the arm. My Aunt worked with her my tieing her good arm behind her back and making her use the bad arm. she massasged and worked with her for months. After many months her bad arm was almost as good as the good and and was adopted.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
6 Jul 08
I think your aunt was smart a lot of times people give up on problems like you mentioned without really trying to correct the problems, I hope that whoever adopted the little girl will continue to help the little girl to use her arms and that she will be encouraged to try even when it is hard to do some things. Sometimes it takes more effort to accomplish anything than what anyone may want to really go thru, sometimes we just give up to easy, just my opinion
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
5 Jul 08
When doctors give answers like that, it is because they are often pressed for answers like that from patients. I've worked in the medical community and the new philosophy is to try to stay away from giving pat answers regarding life expectancy with any disease. Usually though, when a doctor is pressed to give such an answer, it is based on statistics of that disease. However, most doctors will preface that answer with the fact that each person is different and each situation cannot be judged alone by statistics.
@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Okay, but this doctor was not asked anything like that, he just stated that to my friend towards the end of his appointment, Maybe the doctor really thinks that or something.
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
5 Jul 08
i don't think that they are right all the time as they are only human... and only God knows when we are going to die precisely... in the past, the doctor pronounced my grandfather is going to pass away in one year maximum two years time because of his liver cancer... my father and his siblings don't believe the doctor and my father brings my grandfather to china and singapore to undergo treatment... in the end, the doctor is wrong and my grandfather lives for another 7 years before he passed away... so i don't think doctor is always right when they make this sentence... it is only a predictions like a weather forecast which can sometimes be wrong... take care and have a nice day...
1 person likes this
@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
this sounds reasonable to me to, I suppose that the doctor just guesses some times just like I think some weather forecasters do just guesses based on what information they have.
@loujac3 (1188)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I think this is why doctors have been labeled with the title "God." By this I mean that many doctors think that they are God and they act like it. I am not grouping all doctors in this catagory....Please understand this. I have had many good doctors over the years, but I have known some real jerks as well. Honestly, who, but God, could actually predict when someone is going to die?
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I was just wondering if some doctors may of seen people die so many times that they get to noticing the signs that someone will die sooner rather than later, or maybe they are more likely to expect someone will die based on prior experience with other patients.
@qhwater (393)
• China
5 Jul 08
i do not think so. in some hospitals, doctors usually do not tell patients the facts when they estimate the patients can not live long. but they can tell the family and ask the family members to take good care of the patients. it will harm the patients if they know the truth. and make them become more nervous or disappointed.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I did not know that a doctor would tell the family and not the patient sometimes. hopefully the doctor who told my friend this was just thinking it would make my friend want to take care of his health better or something. I really would hate for my friend to die that would just be very hard especially as we have been friends for a good number of years now,.
• Canada
5 Jul 08
Would you be mad if the doctor did not give you an estimated time on how long you would or could live? If you found out you were dying within days and found out you could of new three years earlier wouldn't you be mad? I know I would be. I could of lived my last three years making a difference in my families life.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
No but I would be sad that I did not know. It would be very hard.
@jtr115 (724)
• United States
5 Jul 08
The time frame the doctor gives is usually an average based on how long others with the same condition have lived. When my mom was diagnosed with ALS back in late-2003, I was told she would likely live another 2-4 years. I read more about the disease on the Internet and found that patients do live beyond the 2-4 year mark, even though the percentages become lower the longer they live. Professor Stephen Hawking has had ALS for more than a decade.
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@AnnaB7 (757)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I think I have read about that disease that is a horrible disease if it is the one I am thinking it is. I hope they will find a cure soon.
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• Philippines
5 Jul 08
I think that doctors can somehow determine whether a sick individual can still make it or not. They may be able to say that someone will only last this long or that. But I do not really think that they would be able to give an exact time or duration. I believe that they can only go as far as help the family prepare for the unexpected. They really can't tell WHEN exactly. Only God knows of course...
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