Blog 3: Taking responsibility for death

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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.

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2 thoughts on “Blog 3: Taking responsibility for death

  1. I agree with you. You made very strong points. For example, when you said there would be no conflicts if families took the time to think and talk about all of these medical decisions if they have to be made. Also, completing advance directives is one of the most important things you can do and they are available to every body. It is also the doctor’s job to give information to the patients and their families. But, it is also the job of the patient and their family to do their research on the information that has been presented to them; therefore, there will be no confusion about what the patient wanted for his or her life.

  2. I like how you addressed the procrastination that many people have when it comes to talking about death, because if the “death-talk” came sooner, I would image a lot more people putting what they want to happen to them on paper. Similar to how parents have the “birds and the bees” talk with their children at that appropriate moment in time, I believe that if a death has occurred before in a family, there should be a moment in which adults and younger adults alike can come together and establish their wishes with an advanced directive. The rash decisions and emotional roller coasters that follow a death can lead to even worse problems if no one ACTUALLY knows what the dying person wanted. In reality it should be the responsibility of all humans to confront death and with conviction and let it be known to friends, family, or everybody what you want your last wishes to be.

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