Making an end of life decision can be hard since death is a taboo subject for most people, however, it would be beneficial for everyone to plan out their end of life preference. Advanced directives are easily available and should be utilized to avoid conflict within the family or with the doctors. Having someone else make all your medical decision can be difficult for them because they may not know what you would have wanted, therefore family members should have this conversation as soon as possible and make sure advanced directives are completed.
Families hardly ever agree on anything, like the family throwing a coffee pot at each other over conflicting opinions because no advanced directives were filled out. However, if the entire family got together before rash decisions were made, it can make the end of life process easier by talking about end of life decisions and filling out advanced directives. It is the patient’s responsibility to make it clear what treatments they do or do not want and it is the patient’s family responsibility to make sure those wishes are carried out. The family could then support the wishes of the patient, even if it was hard for them to do so, and find comfort by knowing exactly what the patient wanted. For example, my mom has told me if the time ever comes to where there is no hope for her to recover to the life she had, then she said let her go peacefully just like Susan Jacoby’s mother from the article wanted. She did not want all those invasive procedures and medical bills if there was no treatment to get her back to her health. On the other hand, my step-father said he would want all of the treatment possible because he believes he has what it takes to overcome any life-threatening disease or trauma. By having this conversation, I am better suited at determining what my family would want if a decision was to be made.
Although the doctor’s job is to explain procedures and give alternative treatment options to the patient and family, I think a patient or the patient’s family can know enough to question a decision made by a healthcare provider. Most people want to believe that their doctor’s advice is the only “right” answer, but getting second opinions from other doctors, if you have ample time, would be a good idea to do because it never hurts to ask. Also, doing your own research could be beneficial by making you more aware and knowledgeable of the situation such as what possible treatment options are available and how invasive they are. Questioning a healthcare provider may do you some good if you want to provide the best care to your family or to yourself and not end up with expensive medical bills. It is the responsibility of every American to make their end of life decisions and take the burden off of their family members.