The article, “Letting Go” made me reflect on medicine and what it should due for end of life patients. In my opinion, medicine and other treatments should relieve the physical pain of patients, but at the same time, it shouldn’t increase the physical or emotional pain that they are going through. The patients in “Letting Go” received aggressive treatment in order to cure their illnesses, but were unhappy and experienced even more pain and suffering. Talking about options for treatment when there is no chance for a cure can be frightening, but hope can be found in these situations. I do agree with the article discussing how the goal of treatments changed from living longer to making the best use of the time the patients are alive. With that new objective, the patients and their families managed to enjoy their time with each other in comparison to when they were receiving aggressive treatments.
If I had to make that decision for myself or especially for a loved one, I admit that I would feel very afraid. Once I am over the shock of dying, I would choose to seek pain relieve options over extending my life in general. It would be another story for me to make a decision like that for another person. When I read “Letting Go” I thought of Sara Monopoli’s situation and placed myself in my husband’s shoes. It would be extremely distressing to see my wife (if I was married) in pain and worry about her impending death. Despite my Christian faith and my own personal views of death, I would feel very afraid of watching someone I love die. If my wife had made her wishes known about end of life treatment concerning herself, I would choose to follow her wishes, regardless of my personal feelings, whether they be fighting the illness to the death (no pun intended), pain relieve, or other options. If, for whatever reason, I had to make that decision for her, I would focus on enjoying the time we have together that remains. Making a decision like this can be very difficult on the patient and family members. Reading this article was informative and a tearjerker for me.