Reading this article really emphasized the importance of having some kind of advance directives in place. Dead or Alive your body still belongs to you, and you’ll still have the right to do with it as you please. Making your choices about end-of life decisions known to friends and family, in writing, is one of the best ways to make sure you still have a say about your body. If there isn’t one in place for you, that can cause a conflict between your loved ones. Everyone will have their own perspective of you and in turn have a different perspective of what you would have wanted. People have the responsibility to make their own decisions regarding end of life decisions. They also have the potential to cut healthcare costs by giving yourself the ability to accept and decline treatments ahead of time. This takes the pressure off of the family and helps reduce the bills left behind. People have a responsibility to complete those advanced directives to save their loved ones the hassle of trying to figure it out and worry about what the deceased wanted.
A patient has the responsibility of letting it be known exactly what they want when it comes close to the end of their life and their family has the responsibility of making sure those wishes are carried out properly. The patient’s family should respect and support the decision regardless if they agree with it or not. This relieves the patients’ stress and anxiety knowing that their wishes will be carried out.
In the article the author mentions how her mother opted to be stript of all life-sustaining treatments. During this time, her doctors could have been trying to convince her and her family to reconsider or “weigh the options”. Whether this happened in her mother’s case or not, I think the author’s mom did the right thing by sticking to her guns, and continuing with her requested treatment or lack-thereof. Sometimes doctors may not want to let a patient go either (however, for different reasons than that of the family), and may want to keep on suggesting different treatments that prolong the dying process. This could be a good thing if you’re a person who wants to fight until the end no matter what. However, if you’re just a person who doesn’t want to be more restricted than need be, then this may be a bad thing for you. A doctor’s role in society’s eyes is to save lives, but they also take on the responsibility of whole-heartedly wanting what’s ethically best for their patients and respecting the wishes of the patients. With that being said, a patient and/or proxy has the right to refuse or question any treatment the doctor provides. At the end of the day, decisions should be made based off of what the patient could have wanted or what a proxy to the best of their ability thinks a patient would have wanted.
I understand that nothing is cut and dry, so to make things clearer for your families and doctors when it comes to end decisions advanced directives really smooth things out.
This is an article that I found at the beginning of the year. Its about a guardianship battle over a terminally ill parent that has a family divided.