What Would You Do if You Had Seven Days to Live?

The Blind Eternities forum

Posted on June 28, 2020, 10:13 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

My 33rd birthday is soon approaching (July 18, to be precise), and, while I expect to live for many more years, yet (both my grandfathers died at age 80 and my grandmother is still alive at age 90), death can occur at any moment, so I have been thinking deeply about that.

A scenario about which I am wondering is if a person had merely seven days, one week, to live, and what they would do for those seven days.

When I was younger, if I had been presented with such a hypothetical scenario, my answer would have been to have as much fun as I could for those seven days, but, at my current age, I would simply continue to live my life as I currently am; I would go to work when I needed to and spend time with my friends and family if I had already planned to do so, because, where I am, currently, I do not need to do anything out of the ordinary to make my life feel complete.

What does everyone else say about this? What would you do if you had seven days to live?

TypicalTimmy says... #2

Party like it's the 1970s and try to beat the clock, lol

Nah, I'd meet with a lawyer. I support my disabled mother and I'd want to make sure she is taken care of.

I'd also show up to work just enough that I don't miss enough days to get fired, then I'd just not show up the last couple of days. That way, I still have my life insurance policy for my mom to collect.

June 28, 2020 10:18 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #3

I'd sell my plasma, donate as much blood as possible, and donate my live organs, a living heart can be worth tens of thousands of dollars and my O- blood type can be valuable too. It's estimated that by selling my liver, kidneys, none marrow, heart, and donating my brain and remaining body to science that I could accrue hundreds of thousands of dollars I'd donate to my family and to a list of 6 main non-profit charities I support. Cremation and Burial are wastes when the life I lose could save hundreds and support thousands of people around the world.

It's a grim thought, death, but being able to use it to help so many people and organizations is something I can die happy for. I just turned 18 years old 15 days ago, so I can both legally consent to the procedures as well as be physically young enough to help the vastest amount of people possible.

If I only had one week left, I'd make my goodbyes to my loving girlfriend, my loving family, my small, but close group of friends, talk to a lawyer, and make appointments in hospitals able to get the most use from my death. My girlfriend wants to marry me (I know, too soon, we are only kids after all), and says if I died she'd never love anyone else, but I'd make her promise if someone else came into her life she'd be open to love again.

June 28, 2020 11:05 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #4

SynergyBuild, that's a touching and loving thought. I almost don't want to burst your bubble, but I think it is important to inform you on the organ donor process.

Donations must be met with extremely precise conditions. For example, I am an organ donor but if I die in a car accident, they won't accept my organs that are still in tact. The reason is because of contamination.

Organ donation requires the passing happen in the hospital. As an example, someone who is pronounced passed at the scene of a heart attack in a restaurant likely won't be accepted for donation as the it is an incredibly time sensitive nature. Between a police report, the ambulance arrival, photos and staging taken, any interviews, plus the need to prep for theater (surgical ward)... this is all an incredibly long amount of time, which by then donations would become unviable due to heat degradation, contamination and chemical decomposition. While it is true that on a cellular level the tissues have not begun to, for lack of a better word "rot", it is equally true that chemicals are beginning to break down which makes tissues unviable.

Therefore, donations are required to be made by those who have passed within the hospital or within route to the hospital, so that they can keep the blood pumping and oxygenated and the body cooled for prep. From here, the body must also have a clean bill of health. Even if someone passes of a heart attack in the hospital ward, which is usually a sign of heart disease which means potentially undesirable traits such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol which negatively affect all major organs... even if the person passes in the hospital ward, if they are unhealthy, there is a good chance they will not be accepted. For example, cancer patients can not (usually) donate, nor can those who have passed of chronic illness (such as pneumonia or Covid-19).

This isn't specifically due to the disease(s), rather potential medications. For example, if someone was on steroids to keep something functioning, those tissues are now saturated in drugs that could be problematic for new patients.

Effectively, donations must occur by healthy people who died of natural causes or non-disease sustained injuries within or en route to a hospital.

Even if that criteria is met, not all organs will be harvested for donation. For example, if nobody within a 50 mile radius of the hospital (radius can very, just as an example) needs a pair or even one kidney, the kidneys typically will not be harvested. The medical staff knows who is on the donor list and when expected surgeries are to be performed. If a surgery is not due for three weeks, a set of kidneys now is meaningless as they can not be kept "alive" and "healthy" for that long.

It is an incredibly grim subject, but one that should be discussed. I am an organ donor and have been a licensed first responder now for over four years, so I have had plenty of conversations with staff about this subject matter.

The overwhelming vast majority of donations are actually for medical students to study anatomy, and some even go toward crime scene investigator students to study decomposition and trauma. Very few, without incredibly rare exceptions, are given for specific scientific study. For example, someone with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva would most likely have their body donated and, uhm... "cleeeeeaned..." to inspect the skeleton and how the disease has progressed. Someone with, like my dad, pancreatic cancer would be chucked into a Red Waste Biohazard bag and incinerated.

I worked for a company cleaning hospitals and rehab centers in the past. Incineration is the preferred method of disposal. Which, fun fact, if you ever have a loved one cremated, the ashes you receive back are partially not your loved one's. Yes the thought and sentiment is there, but ash and soot are not separated. While it is true that one body is cremated at a time, it is not true that a crematorium 100% scrubs the walls and chambers to be clean enough to eat off of...

...ahem, I digress.

I'm not saying all of this to upset or offend you. I'm saying all of this to inform you, because the vast majority of people out there do not actually know how the process works. Have you ever heard that there is a "shortage of donors" in America, which is why people can be on waiting lists for literal years? Well, this is why.

There isn't a shortage, there is a process and that process makes most donors unviable.

If you truly want to help someone, help them while you are still alive.

Donate plasma, donate time, donate wealth. Be kind to those around you, be generous with your aid, show compassion and mercy. Be humble, thankful and respectful.

  • You don't need to die to be a good person. <3

As for donations themselves, hospitals (To the best of my knowledge) don't actually compensate your family for your donations. That is why it is a donation - an act of charity. If a hospital were to pay $35,000 for a set of kidneys, for example, they are technically practicing in the sale of Human body parts, which is technically illegal.

Rather, it might be possible to have your donations (if any) valued by an attorney and use that as a tax benefit for your family. I'm not sure if that'd work, this is purely hypothetical conjecture. However, I'm sure a savvy enough attorney could argue that the value of your donation is essentially the same as a charitable donation (which it is) and therefore subject to tax laws for write-offs.

Regardless, I do apologize if I crushed your heart on this one. But being informed now is important. The last thing you'd want is to spend your life believing something that might not be possible :(

That's not to say you SHOULDN'T be a donor. If your body is able to help someone else, that is a genuine act of kindness and compassion and a sign of maturity and humility.

It's meant to serve as an education resource, not a condemnation. I hope you, and everyone else, understands.


All of that being said, in our hypothetical scenario, if you KNEW you had a week left to live, I see no reason why you couldn't speak to the administration at the hospital and essentially be in Hospice for the next seven days so they can have time to prepare. :)

June 28, 2020 11:39 p.m. Edited.

TypicalTimmy says... #5

And yes, I have typed out a grand simplification of everything. There are always exceptions, such as someone on specific medications that wouldn't interact with certain functions or tissues.

I'm not a working doctor, so take what I said with a grain of salt. Just know that I was told all of this by nurses and doctors when I asked my questions during my training.

Laws change all the time. What I was told may no longer be the case, but it is a starting point to learn and be informed.

Best thing to do, ask a doctor. Go to a clinic (not a hospital) and ask for information. They will be able to give you packets to read through, websites to browse, numbers to call and direct staff to ask.

But do this in a clinic. NOT A HOSPITAL. They are far too busy saving lives there to be bothered by the curious. A clinic will be just as informed, and you won't be drawing staff away from patients in need. :)

June 28, 2020 11:48 p.m.

Game_of_Cones says... #6

First of all, you should celebrate the amazing milestone of reaching over 1 billion total seconds lived - if you haven’t already? It happens sometime during your 32nd year, I forget exactly when (I’m 47 btw)

June 28, 2020 11:56 p.m.

Game_of_Cones says... #7

Whoops, 1 billion sec = 31 yrs, 251 days, but still

June 29, 2020 12:02 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #8

Game_of_Cones, I turned 31 on May 9th! :O

June 29, 2020 12:15 a.m.

Game_of_Cones says... #9

TypicalTimmy, YOU MUST SURVIVE, start planning now I guess? I found it to be a “life-changing” aka transformative moment in that I decided I wanted to run a 33 mile race when I was 33 yrs old....

June 29, 2020 12:36 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #10

Wait till you hear my transformative experience when I turn the ripe old age of 69 ;)

June 29, 2020 12:39 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #11

@TypicalTimmy I only brought it up due to the nature of the post. Assuming my body itself being separate from my hypothetical self, there are a few variations of the question.

My assumption was that if my corporeal body was alive by a week after reading the post, I would get my life's possessions in order and work to speak with a lawyer and whichever the appropriate staff at the most applicable clinic would be. The storage for organs isn't the absolute best in the United States in comparison to a few other countries, however on average it would be sufficient for a weeks time till my death, or even slightly less than a week, perhaps only 5 days dependent on the situation, I could still have my organs preserved to vastly help a variety of possible recipients.

I have no medical history of note, my records are so clean they are practically empty, all of the vaccinations, a good body weight sitting me pretty average worldwide, a little under average for the United States for my height, which is additionally pretty average for an 18 year old male. I am basically as vanilla as I could get, and my family's medical history is also pretty stock. No predispositions to cancer if any sort, and a long life expectancy.

No, I don't expect that a situation this perfect would exist in real life, however if I was to take the assumed post seriously, I would do it as stated. I take social approach to my actions, would they help the society I am a part of? If not, is there an action that would? If so, is there a better one?

It is fair, I should most certainly go to a clinic, we have a family one (that's how it works here, sort of, in my state) and I believe it is important that I not waste the time of hospitals, despite infection rates being incredibly low in my county, and no currently active cases of Covid-19 in the last few weeks, and minimal issues excluding the virus in the city, to my knowledge.

Obviously I am not an expert on the topic, I don't know a ton about the inner workings, but think the situation at hand has an intrinsic and extrinsic opportunity for the conceptual reader.

If you read it as what you want to do before you die, there is an idea that your legacy, what you do for yourself is the end goal, and with such a tangible end, there is no need to waste time with concepts of legacy, as you live for yourself. Being motivated internally this intrinsic approach isn't how I believe many people would take the situation if it occurred to them.

I assume people motivated for intrinsic value do it guided in extrinsic validation. They do things that are 'cool' but are really bucket list items. Many enjoy it, but the feeoingnis fleeting, and people are future thinkers. I believe so many people assume they'd do this is they were confronted with the end of their days because the fleeting feelings would last the rest of their life.

Many I'd assume could enjoy their final moments if they had taken it in such a way, but the people that would enjoy it are extriniscally motivated. They would enjoy having fun partying with friends, and wouldn't confront their internal end fast approaching so seriously. The people that would say they would I believe would actually be unable to contend with their own end, being in a state of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, though may die before reaching the final stages. The Kübler-Ross Model (the Five Stages of Grief) I reference is an obvious candidate for most people's true outcome in such a dire state.

I worked to create an idea that would give extrinsic value, letting me enjoy my final moments, helping those I can because of what cursed me, as well as giving intrinsic worth, letting me give myself the ability to come to with my own death by sidestepping grief. I won't really die, I'd live on in everyone I touched in my life, and in every life my body allows to live after my timely demise. It's a bittersweet way of taking the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that guide me without guiding either as eachother, in the way that I'd assume many do nearing the end of their life. How the details of this end work may escape me, but I believe the goal to the sound.

Thank you for the prompt to let me question my own motivating factors.

June 29, 2020 1:09 a.m. Edited.

Colonel_Kink says... #12

hey demon? i want to tell you what i have learned about living a happy life. i have attempted multiple suicide attempts when i was 15, and 23 and 26.

- What is the reason to live? people never really think about it, some think that they need to live for certain things to happen.

imagine if you could live forever, you would get bored and want to die. even heaven would become hell after long enough.

- i disagree with that statement.

why? if there is a true best and perfect reason to live then you would know the reason to live happily forever.

- that means there is a perfect reason to live. i dont know it, but the fact that one exists brings me hope. because if i devote my life to learning the reason to live i will find it eventually. and that is worth living for.

- i have come to a hypothesis as to what the best reason to live is. the perfect reason to live is related to the existence of good and evil.

- does evil exist? i say no. we measure heat not cold. darkness is lack of light.

evil is simply a lesser good.

- therefore when you learn how to live in the highest goodness, you live in a perfect state of mind.

- the reason to live is love, not self-love. but selfless love. sacrificial, charity. charity is not just giving money. charity is a higher form of love. to give time. to give of yourself.

- when you learn to forgive others and yourself, develop self awareness and a constant desire to improve... you will inevitably discover that helping others is the best goodness you can achieve.

- and with the reason to live, you will live happily.

- what would i do in the event of terminal life?

- i would give of myself to all i could. to know that i made the world and other peoples lives better would be the greatest gift i could give.

and that would let me die with no regrets.

June 29, 2020 4:24 a.m.

ShiltonCDXX says... #13

A whole lot of... "skiing"... by the bowlful XD

June 30, 2020 8:13 p.m.

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