End of Life Responsibility


The main thing that caught my eye in the article by Susan Jacoby were the statistics that were mentioned. The article states that “only 22 percent said a doctor should always try to save a patient’s life, while 70 percent believed that patients should sometimes be allowed to die. More than half said they would tell their doctor to end treatment if they were in great pain with no hope of improvement.” But as stated in the article, only 69 percent actually discuss it with their spouse or children. A lot of people like to be in control of their life and would do anything to extend it as well but I do feel there is a responsibility for us to make our own decisions when it comes to end life decisions.


When it comes to those decisions, it is important that the person explains what they want and do not want when it comes to care and how they want to die. In the article, the woman decided to live her life without treatment that was not going to save her. She was in total control and died with dignity. The article explains that “The worst imaginable horror for my mother was that she might be kept alive by expensive and painful procedures when she no longer had a functioning brain. She was equally horrified by the idea of family fights around her deathbed.” She had taken the responsibility of having an end of life decision that so many Americans don’t even take the time to think about it. Everyone should be given the information and understand what advance directives are and take them seriously. I had never thought about a living will before but after learning what I have, I ended up making one and convinced my family to think about it and be responsible to make one for themselves. The last line in the article states, “I do not consider it my duty to die for the convenience of society. I do consider it my duty, to myself and younger generations, to follow the example my mother set by doing everything in my power to ensure that I will never be the object of medical intervention that cannot restore my life but can only prolong a costly living death.” Those are amazing words in which explains how it is our duty and power to take responsibility over our end of life decisions. The article also explains how having end of life decisions can prevent families from fighting and ending up paying expensive medical bills. When it comes to healthcare providers, it is not always better to go with what the provider says. It is important that the family research and take into consideration what the family member would want and what they are comfortable with because most of the time, all they want is to be comfortable and be able to enjoy what they have left instead of going through pain and treatments. 




2 thoughts on “End of Life Responsibility

  1. Like you I also found it very interesting on the statistics of 69% how many individuals actually speak about their advanced directives with their family members. Piggy backing off the last blog. There should be something set in place from your insurance company kind of like a requirement for some type of advanced directive to be made. This will help in both the short and long end of the spectrum the family will already have their wishes in writing and the insurance company can use it in saving money. More importantly it will bring awareness to individuals of the seriousness of making an advanced directive.

  2. In the article, Susan explains that her mother saw families fall a part because they do not know whether to keep their family member on a ventilator or not. I agree with the fact that we ultimately have the power and responsibility to make an advance directive for ourselves. Not only our family members are left with grief and bereavement when their family member is gone, but they are also left with the expenses of the funeral and the medical bills that could potential put them in financial strain. Making decisions from the start of the illness can help the family, patient and health care provider by facilitating an easier process for end of life care.

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