I believe that Americans should have a responsibility to make their own decisions regarding end-of-life preferences. To prevent unnecessary family quarrels, family agony, and extremely high healthcare bills, everyone should have healthcare directives. I believe Susan Jacoby’s story makes this very clear. Her mom wanted to prevent any debt for her family, and prevent any agony on her own part from unnecessary painful procedures or treatments. She made that possible by making her own healthcare directive. It should be every Americans responsibility to have some sort of document (e.g., living will, advanced healthcare directive) that states their medical wishes, should they become so ill in the future that they are unable to do so.
It it quite ridiculous for people to think “that will never happen to me” because the truth is, you never know. It’s a scary thought to be put in a position where it is impossible to make your own decisions about what treatments or procedures you want, and then leave that decision up to someone else. The point is to be prepared for our future and to take responsibility for our deaths. A part of me even wishes that it were required for people to have directives. To make it easy, maybe when people get their drivers licenses at 16, they can easily create a healthcare directive the same time, right at the DMV! Everyone wants to get their license, so if there is an option to create directives at the same time it wouldn’t seem like such a hassle to make one.
Also, I do not believe that the patient that may be suffering from a terminal illness, or that patient’s family, may ever know enough about the healthcare providers decisions. For that very reason, not only do I believe people should be able to question healthcare providers, but that it should be required. Even though healthcare providers may know best and they may seem like the “authoritative” figure, if there is something that is not understood by the patient, the patient should always be able to question the decisions or suggestions made by them, its apart of their job! The patient and the patient’s family will always have questions for the healthcare provider on a plethora of things: such as prognosis or any treatments that are available. If they can’t answer our questions, who can?
It is time for people all over the world to make their own decisions regarding end-of-life preferences, or someone else will make them for you. It should be a priority to have healthcare directives. Share this information with family and friends, make it a family event to get healthcare directives if you have to: just get it done. Death is inevitable, so why not be prepared for it!