Annapurna, your story about the doc reminds me of my aunt Linda's last days, and an ethical conflict between me and another family member.
Linda had a series of stokes and was in the hospital. At this time she was reasonably functional, and on my brithday (after consulting with the staff) I brought her a piece of cake and some pizza from my party. After the hospital food she cried out "I Loooove you!" and dug in. A few days later she had another series of stokes which left her unable to speak coherently and was transferred to hospice, waiting to die. My other aunt, Liz, who Aunt Linda didn't like very much, flew in to sit with her. Aunt Liz fretted over everything and had driven us all crazy when my mother was dying. It was sort of her job in the family; to come in, try to run things, make a mess of everything, and make everyone wish they were dead too.
Because of the strokes, Linda couldn't speak, but she was a nurse and had once worked with the deaf. By a fortunate fruiting of kamma, I'd studied Amslan, (American Sign Language) in high school for my language requirement, and at family get-togethers she and I used to silently mock other family members secretly in front of them. She was my favorite aunt because she was feisty, mischievous, rebellious, antisocial, told everyone to go to hell, lived life under her own terms--in short, we were just alike. So I could communicate with her even though she couldn't speak.
She had difficulty swallowing so the nurses had made the mistake of telling my Aunt Liz Linda couldn't be given liquids without the risk
of aspirating them into her lungs. Notice this wasn't a commandment, but a disclaimer, basically medical personnel covering their rear ends. But Liz, literal minded and insensitive to nuance, wasn't allowing Linda to drink anything. When I got there Linda was pitching a fit. I asked Linda what she wanted, and she signed she wanted a cola. Linda and I had a silent conversation and I explained the risks, Linda had worked as a nurse and understood. There was nothing wrong with her mind. It was her body that was failing her. She also asked me, with embellishment and profanity (yes, there are quite expressive signs for profanity, some for which there are no English equivalents) to kill Liz for her, but I declined. I relayed Linda's wish (for the cola, not the homicide) and Liz refused. Linda howled. I went out to the hall and asked the nurse who repeated that Linda might aspirate the fluid. I asked what would happen, and the nurse said she could get pneumonia. I asked, "How long is she expected to live?" Nurse said, "Two days at the most," I said, "So what difference does it make? Let me talk to the doctor."
Doc told me he said Linda could have liquids with an eye dropper to reduce the risk of aspiration, but it would still probably happen. He also said Liz was scared to do it. I said, give me the damned dropper. I obtained an ice-cold cola and over Liz's objections, fed Linda small drops and you would have thought it was ambrosia. I knew probably half of it went into her lungs and hastened her death, but I took the responsibility.
My ex-wife (don't ask how she got involved, that's another convoluted melodrama for another day) later informed me Liz said I'd killed Linda, but who the hell cares. I made her last hours comfortable. Anyway, she fell asleep that night, never woke up, and passed away peacefully, with a low morphine dose from what I understand.
Not sure what the current theorists of kamma would speculate about these series of actions, and maybe I did hasten her death, but I know doing nothing would have tormented me forever. So as for these docs who walk near or even cross the borderline of euthanasia of dying patients who are near death anyway, I don't point any judgmental fingers. I'm only 52 but several friends near my age and even younger have discorporated, so any morning I wake up alive it's with a feeling of surprise. Death may come at us like a thief in the night or with plenty of advance notice, so how would we deal with it? Who knows? I don't. I only hope if I wind up helpless someone will have the sense and compassion to bring me a drink, but make mine a cognac, please.