EOL Responsibilities of Americans

In the United States, Americans are known as people who enjoy having their pride and freedom. Americans are known to take charge of their lives and becoming successful. Our country strives to be the best. Although Americans are known to make their own decisions due to the laws that made it possible, we lack in the ability to make our end of life choices. In the article, only one-third of Americans have made their living will. It is hard to think about our death. We clearly avoid the situation of our end of life decisions due to the lack of decision making when the time is near. Americans need to understand that it changes not only their lives but their family’s situations at a greater ease when responsibility has been taken into account.   


An American’s responsibility on preparing for their end of life is when they acknowledge that there are significant people in their lives that would suffer to see them gone.  Not having any directives can put a huge strain onto the family. In the article, Susan Jacoby explains that her mother would see families who argued because their loved one did not have any advance directives. When there are no directives, living will or anyone who knows the person’s wishes, life for the person can become complicated. People who don’t have directives may be given care that is unnecessary or not wanted for the patient. For example, in the article, Susan’s mother did not want respirators or any care that would have her body living when she wasn’t truly living. If Susan didn’t know about her mother’s wishes, her mother would have been under care that was not requested from her.  The article also states that most patients that are dying would rather be left to die instead of getting treatment that would only cause enough pain and suffering as much as living. Most people who do not have directives end up receiving these types of treatment. These types of treatments are very expensive, causing families to pay large sums and have the risk of becoming in financial debt.  Americans should be responsible to make a living will and an advance directive as soon as possible and to make sure that either a family member or an attorney is responsible to make decisions for you when you are unable to.

When a person knows that their end of life is near, it is important for them to make sure that they have some type of directive. In the article it is said that in the next two decades, 8.5 million Americans will be over the age of 85 and almost half will have some sort of irreversible dementia. When end of life is near, there is a possibility that a person may not be able to speak about their end of life decisions, therefore it is important to have some type of written paperwork facilitating the issues.  If a person has directives and is close to end of life, it is important to make sure that everything they listed is what they want and to confirm the decisions with next of kin would be ideal. The patient’s families need to figure out; if not already, what their family member wants for their end of life decisions. This topic is very hard to talk about but having a conversation with that family member can help not only the family but the patient in immense ways.

Making decisions based on what health care providers are not always the best for the patient. It is important for the family to research the disease or illness and figure out ways their family member can be the most comfortable. At the end of the day, majority of patients just want to be pain free and comfortable. Sometimes health care providers only provide treatments that may be painful and irreversible.  Questioning the health care provider and finding as much research as possible are also great tips for helping the family member. Image


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