The first, an elderly lady, from a Care home. Her quality of life sounded poor, heavily dependent, demented. This is an all too familiar story. We are not evolved to live so long. Her family had seen her deterioration, and seemed to have made the sensible choice, that if she should become ill, she should be kept comfortable at what had become her home, and allowed to die. So when she did become ill, and collapse, the Ambulance was called. Once they arrived the Staff told them of the families wish that she should not be actively resuscitated. No 'formal' documentation of this plan existed: the fabled DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate. This leaves the Ambos with little, or no, choice. If you don't want someone resuscitated, don't call an Ambulance. Why call someone, to tell them you don't need, or indeed want them?
Next door, an elderly man, not quite so dependent, but a cardiac cripple, a man so determined to be at home he had taken his own discharge from hospital that very morning. He was unwell, and had been told so; much time had been expended counselling him, warning him of the risks he was taking. He understood, he was clear about that. He didn't care, he wanted to be at home.
He lasted a few minutes.