Just an update with the latest news: sister's mother-in-law came through the surgery, but is still in ICU. Her kidneys aren't functioning, and either she'll have to have dialysis or die. At this point, she's off the ventilator and says she doesn't want dialysis -- and she's in a lot of pain. Fortunately she has a living will, and has at least a right to "choose."
Meanwhile, I've spent some time with sister at the ICU waiting room the past couple of days. I HATE hospitals, period. They do have a room for ICU patient families and sister/brother-in-law got one so they can get some sleep at night. Witnessing what they are going through reminds me that DH was lucky he didn't have to suffer through a pointless medical escapade that would, in the end, have been futile. We also both had living wills, and I still have mine. Sometimes it is more humane to end suffering by ceasing so-called "treatment" that is more torturous than any person should be expected to bear. Especially when it's hopeless and pointless, with the end result sure to be death anyway.
I just don't believe that any life, especially an agonizing, painful existence, is better than NO life. Unfortunately it's all too easy to find oneself in such a position, UNLESS, you take action before ending up in an ICU strapped to machines that torture you and FORCE you to stay alive. Suicide is a viable alternative, if one sees this kind of approaching illness event (terminal cancer, end-stage cancer, and many other elderly incurable diseases). Just make sure you keep your plans to yourself, otherwise you could end up in the loony bin with a bunch of 'right to life' folks deciding THEY know what's best for YOU.
And that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.