Keeping Someone Alive with a Harmful Drug...

Spiritual Armor

Ready to Go Home ^_^
Hello brothers and sisters in Christ, I have a question that I just can’t seem to find the exact scriptural answers for. Please share your thoughts on this or if you have scripture that helps answer this I’d be happy to know it. -Thanks

Is keeping someone alive by using a harmful drug alright or not alright with God?

What I mean by a harmful drug is a substance that does permanent damage to the body in the short and long term, cause mental anguish, body and skin deformities.
 

JoyJoyJoy

Well-Known Member
Is this person on some type of life support?

I worked in critical care for years. Some drugs are used to maintain blood pressure and I don't think that is sinful. But I don't know what kind of drugs you are talking about, that would cause pain and deformities.
 

Spiritual Armor

Ready to Go Home ^_^
H
Is this person on some type of life support?

I worked in critical care for years. Some drugs are used wblood pressure and I don't think that is sinful. But I don't know what kind of drugs you are talking about, that would cause pain and deformities.
No, the person is not on life support but they need to take a high dosage of steroids everyday in order to keep their adrenal glands functioning. This person has an array of rare medical conditions because 2 rogue antibodies (one attacking the sensory and the other attacking the autonomic system) compromised their body when they were young leading to various auto immune diseases. After being attacked for years by the rogue antibodies, the adrenal glands eventually stopped functioning.

Years of taking steroids lead to osteoporosis, thrush, trouble healing, abnormal fat deposits, skin tears, weight gain, lipoma skin deformities, skin infections which caused scarring all over body due to the immune-suppressive nature of steroids, also psychological trouble is common with steroid use.

This is an unusual case as most people who take steroids for Adrenal Insufficiency don’t have so many other factors that can easily send them into adrenal crisis without knowing it.

My question is if this person wants to stop taking the steroids because they’re tired of it making them feel bad, would God be alright with that? It would end their life in a painful manner. It’s keeping them alive but at the same time it makes them sick. Right now that person is having a hard time keeping their head above water, they do want to be in the rapture but physically and mentally they’re worn out. I can’t find anything in the scripture that really gives a clear right or wrong on this issue. Thanks
 

Amity

Well-Known Member
H

No, the person is not on life support but they need to take a high dosage of steroids everyday in order to keep their adrenal glands functioning. This person has an array of rare medical conditions because 2 rogue antibodies (one attacking the sensory and the other attacking the autonomic system) compromised their body when they were young leading to various auto immune diseases. After being attacked for years by the rogue antibodies, the adrenal glands eventually stopped functioning.

Years of taking steroids lead to osteoporosis, thrush, trouble healing, abnormal fat deposits, skin tears, weight gain, lipoma skin deformities, skin infections which caused scarring all over body due to the immune-suppressive nature of steroids, also psychological trouble is common with steroid use.

This is an unusual case as most people who take steroids for Adrenal Insufficiency don’t have so many other factors that can easily send them into adrenal crisis without knowing it.

My question is if this person wants to stop taking the steroids because they’re tired of it making them feel bad, would God be alright with that? It would end their life in a painful manner. It’s keeping them alive but at the same time it makes them sick. Right now that person is having a hard time keeping their head above water, they do want to be in the rapture but physically and mentally they’re worn out. I can’t find anything in the scripture that really gives a clear right or wrong on this issue. Thanks
I have lived without adrenal glands for 10 years now. Mine were removed due to Cushing's Disease. I take 20-30mg of hydrocortisone every day, more when needed. A lot more lately due to my failing chemo damaged kidneys causing gout. I made it through stage 4 cancer 2 years ago when most doctors gave me a 0% chance of survival due to the comorbidity of being adrenal insufficient.

Steriods can cause problems when taken long term at high doses, but it would be really high doses for immune suppression and not so much for the small replacement dose needed for adrenal insufficiency. I got by on 15mg a day up until cancer. I even skipped days here and there frequently to conserve or use up what was in my system.
The side effects you listed are what happens when too large of a dose for their needs is taken for long periods of time and it is called Psuedo Cushing's. Adrenal insufficiency is not typically medicated for long terms at high doses, only in the event of a medical necessity such as illness, injury, or severe stress.

In ten years on steroids after Cushing's disease (disease where your body makes too much cortisol, much like taking too many steroids) I lost the 180 pounds I gained from Cushing's, my bone and muscles recovered, and the bone density scans are good. I am very fatigued but before cancer managed to work a very stressful, high profile career in oil and gas. You can live a fairly normal life. If there are other issues like with me and the cancer treatment side effects, of course it will make it that much harder to deal with, but not impossible.

I would like to know what these other factors are that are causing frequent adrenal crisis.

Would stopping the pills be suicide in God's eyes? I don't know. Believe me, I've thought long and hard about it at times. Does it honor God and show faith in His guidance and purpose for our lives? Absolutely not!

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

I hope I have been of some help. If you have any questions feel free to email me at rachelstompscancer@gmail.com.
 
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madcat

Well-Known Member
I’m sorry you are even having to ask this question. Watching someone suffer with or without treatment is really hard to handle. I am in Physical Therapy and am familiar with autoimmune diseases, as well as degenerative brain and CNS diseases.
In severe autoimmune issues, in addition to or in place of steroids, many times IVIG can be helpful. Has your friend tried that? I’m also very familiar with long term effects of high-dose steroids, and those side effects are quite severe, and require very close monitoring by a good endocrinologist.

Autonomic NS disease can be so varied in each person. I hope your friend has a good neurologist that can communicate with the endocrinologist, as each ANS function that is affected would require treatment (i.e., loss of ability to control blood pressure).
I will pray that your relative/friend might be able to get a “team”of physicians to evaluate the long list of unbearable side effects of the steroids, and see if there could be options that would improve their quality of life.
I think we are all weary of this world for many reasons, and I agree that I hope we are HOME soon.

:pray:pray:pray
 

JoyJoyJoy

Well-Known Member
To me, a person in their right mind should be able to stop meds or treatment.
For example, some dialysis patients stop treatment and die within a short time.
Some folks have Living Wills or Advance Directives, that request no heroic life saving measures in case of a terminal illness or accident.
To me, these are basic human rights. And this is only my opinion. I have no Scripture to back it up or refute it.
 

Amity

Well-Known Member
My opinion may be unpopular in this thread, but living with adrenal insufficiency and dealing with that and managing it while going through late stage cancer treatment and having to take high steroid doses, I feel I have a good understanding of what that is like. I don't know what these other issues are that are causing frequent adrenal crisis and necessitates such a high dose of steroids. I asked for more info on that in my first post.

That said, adrenal insufficiency in and of itself when properly treated is not particularly painful, troubling, terminal, or sufficiently traumatic that quitting a very cheap and easy medication and letting nature take its course sounds like a rational decision. This would be much more equivalent to a type 1 diabetic stopping insulin than a person on dialysis or life support or late stage cancer and stopping treatment.

I just had a 4 day hospital trip a month or two ago due to adrenal crisis. Yes, they shoot me up with enough steroids to kill a bear and I absolutely hate it. The puffed up red face, weight gain, the "roid raging feeling....it sucks, I know. But it's rare, and the side effects are short term.

Now, again, until I understand what those other issues are, I cant offer the validation they seek. I think a long talk with the doctor to find a balance for their steroid dose is warranted, as well as perhaps finding a therapist to talk this out. I went to one during cancer treatment, and it helped tremendously.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
My opinion may be unpopular in this thread, but living with adrenal insufficiency and dealing with that and managing it while going through late stage cancer treatment and having to take high steroid doses, I feel I have a good understanding of what that is like. I don't know what these other issues are that are causing frequent adrenal crisis and necessitates such a high dose of steroids. I asked for more info on that in my first post.
If an opinion is unpopular, that doesn't make it any less valuable. Sometimes the less popular opinions may hold more value than more commonly held thoughts within a sub-group of people (as we are). If I understood your entire post correctly I agree with what you're saying for you and any advice there for others has merit.

In my own case, if I didn't want to receive treatment for an ailment that might lead to death without treatment, I wouldn't need counseling nor would I seek it. It would be fully my decision and I would have no problem making the decision and owning it. Cancer is so prevalent that I've already decided that if I ever am diagnosed with some kind of cancer and have to go through some of the treatments I've read about... well, I just wouldn't be interested in pursuing those treatments. Would it be wrong or a sin to not accept treatment for a potentially terminal condition? I don't believe so, not at all. Might it be a poor choice to do whatever you can to stay alive despite the treatment you might have to suffer through for a possibly terminal condition? No. Not at all. By my way of thinking it is a personal decision. If you can pay for it and want it, get the treatment. If you'd rather not have the treatment, then make good use of the time you have left in this fallen world.

I would be extremely upset if I wanted to receive some treatment and a single payer board made a determination that I would not receive the treatment... I believe in old fashioned values and if I can pay for something, then I believe I should be able to work with the medical system to get the treatment. I don't believe that I'm entitled to treatment if I can't pay for it... I would consider a panel's decision declining treatment to me as equal to pre-meditated murder after I passed. I would consider a personal decision not to get treatment a decision to accept the diagnoses and it's NATURAL consequences.

All that said, I have many physical ailments and have come close to meeting my Maker at least a few times already. Day to day, I try to eat healthfully, exercise, get plenty of rest, and otherwise take care of myself. I like living, I like serving, I like sharing God's love to the extent that I can and do. But I'm not afraid to go home, and when the time comes, I'll probably be pretty excited. I'll have to consider hiding that excitement a bit so my loved ones don't think I'm in a hurry to leave them...
 

Kem

Citizen
First of all, I need to know. Is this person definitely saved?
Yes, that would be very important to know as if definitely saved the person will participate in the rapture whether living at the time or already dead. Remember the dead in Christ will rise first. I hope and pray that the person considering stopping the medication would be sure of salvation before making any decision.

Having said that, the decision should be up to the patient. Staying alive via medication that makes one miserable is a very personal decision and there is no definitive right or wrong answer. In my opinion deciding to end the medication is not the same as suicide if that is what you are wondering. Personally at age 75 I would not choose to have treatment for cancer of any severe kind but rather comfort measures.
 

Amity

Well-Known Member
Hi Spiritual Armor,

I see you have been on the boards recently. How are you and this person doing?

I do apologize if my post came across as harsh or invalidating of what this person is going through. I truly did not intend for it to.

We would like to be of help, but a lot of us have questions that would help us understand what exactly this person is going through and their salvation.

If they haven't already attempted this, I would like to just share that the desired outcome will not be quick, or painless. It would be more akin to suicide by not eating. I went almost 3 weeks once years ago without when I didn't have insurance and couldn't get them. I ended up in the hospital. After a couple of days, you feel weak and nauseated. Joint and muscle pain gradually gets worse. Shortness of breath and severe fatigue and dizziness gets worse.
I know you listed the potential side effects, but I would like to know what specific side effects they are experiencing.

I do hope you return to this thread and let us know how you two are doing. We do want to be of help. But more importantly, please see the doctor about this.
 

Spiritual Armor

Ready to Go Home ^_^
I am so sorry for what some of you have gone through and I appreciate your concern and kind attention. I apologize for my late response, I am very ill and typing can eat up all my energy quickly, it took me days to type this message up in note pad so I could copy and post it here.

Just know this person has an extremely rare case that has been going on since they were young, a big part of not being diagnosed properly is because out of the some 40 doctors(some of the best in the country, Johns Hopkins, top neurologists-supposedly) she saw didn’t believe someone so young could have anything wrong with them (she use to be an aerobics instructor). Every year she would get a couple of new autoimmune diseases and/or syndromes, but no one could find the cause and she kept getting worse, eventually her adrenal glands stopped working. Most people just need to take replacement steroids for adrenal insufficiency but in this case, the constant pain factored with with constant stress eating away at her body from the mystery disease made it necessary for her to be on a high dose of steroids for over a decade. The endocrinologist was not happy about it, but every time she tried to lower the dosage she would start to go into adrenal crisis. She also has fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, erythromelalgia, P.O.T.S., basilar Migraine with aura, tremors, hashimoto’s disease, chronic dizziness, motility dysfunction and too many others to list. It would take a week to explain everything she has and what went on all those years because what I just wrote as it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyways in 2017 she was finally diagnosed by a neurologist as to what was slowly killing her through all her adult life. It’s very rare, there is not a name for it yet but in layman’s terms it’s when rogue antibodies just start attacking your autonomic system. In her case she is the only one who ever had 2 rogue antibodies that was attacking her autonomic and sensory system. There is no cure but the neurologist did approve her for IVIG. She has been doing that every 4 weeks for the last 2 years. It has helped. But it has made things worse as far as pain and exacerbating symptoms, she was able to go down on the steroids but the stress of the treatments, the antibodies waging war in her body can prove to be too much and sends her body close to adrenal crisis and sometimes occasionally aseptic meningitis. It frustrates her because her will is strong but her body dictates reality. But now the insurance no longer wants to pay for it. All she wants is Jesus to rapture us home if not just her home.

Please pray for her. Her name is Bonnie, could you pray the insurance company will pay for treatments and that her fibro, nerve pain and basilar migraines goes away and that she is able to have normal bowel movements.
Thanks and God Bless you
 
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