For most people knowing whether or not they have an option to choose to live longer is fairly an easy question to answer without thinking. I believe that it is also fair to say that as long as technology increases so will the life to which people can live will increase as well, but to which degree of quality of life are we going to be subjected to is the harder question to answer.
Medicine was initially created to rid the patient of his or her problems, but today we can indisputably say that medicine is more often used today to delay the patients’ problems and not to cure them.
What should medicine do when it cannot save your life? This question is a much easier question to answer when I am not confronted with one of those situations myself. Initially, I believe medicine should only be applied in situations where a patient has qualified for hospice in that their disease is irreversible. In other words, I believe medicine should be used not to prolong a terminally ill patient, but to ease the pain that a terminally ill patient is going through until that patient is deceased, would be appropriate. Within myself there is still doubt that I too would prefer my loved one or myself to only use medicine to ease the pain and not to prolong the illness. I feel that there is no true determination on which route an individual might take until he or she is in that situation. New technology is definitely enticing to health and medication, but I hope that I would think clearly in situations like those which were presented in the story in the sense that I don’t lose grip on what is more important to me, which would be the quality of life. Before people die they never talk about how much there going to miss materialistic items, but what they do talk about is how they’re going to miss the quality in the relationships that they established. When drugs only prolong the illness then we tend to place burdens on our loved ones as they watch us slowly suffer until we lose grips of our cognition. Relationships with loved ones change as a patient continues to progress in their use of medication in attempts to prolong their quality of life, obviously not in how somebody loves one another but more so in how a patient can continue to show their love and happiness back.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln