Responsibilites at End of Life


End of life decisions are things that most people do not discuss in their everyday conversations. People tend to wait until they are in a situation that calls for such a conversation. The problem with this is that sometimes people aren’t sure what they want and don’t have enough time to process their situation fully. The American people have a right to make these decisions, but they sometimes do not want to because they are faced with very difficult questions. In the end, Patients need to make their own decisions. It is perfectly acceptable to consult family or a doctor in order to help in a situation that concerns end of life.

The families in the patient’s life are just as important because they need to be there for the patient and help them to come to terms with their situation and to console them. Families are also sometimes used to make the difficult decisions when patients aren’t capable to do so for themselves. Families also need to make sure that the patient is being taken care of in the best way for their best interest.

If a family or a patient ever has questions, they should always ask questions. I feel that the more questions asked by the patient to the doctor, the better. If someone asks questions, the doctor is more likely to give more information and respond better. I’ve seen through personal experience that doctors enjoy teaching. Even my grandmothers’ cancer doctor loved when we would ask him a million questions because he felt like we really cared and wanted to know as much as we could about the procedures and her condition. (She is now cancer free for 4 years and doing very well, in case you wondered) I feel like questioning a doctor and making sure he is doing what is best for a patient is always the best decision.



8 thoughts on “Responsibilites at End of Life

  1. I agree from the start in how it’s a big problem that people tend to wait until they are in a situation that calls for end of life decisions when it’s too late. We both agree that waiting until the time comes forces decisions which were not planned thoroughly in many ways. Family, as you stress, is a very important component in helping with decisions. The personal story of your grandmother and her survival of cancer is a wonderful example in questioning health professionals; it shows that knowledge is important in making the best decisions for ourselves and loved ones!

  2. Everyone has choices they must make in life. Making choices for ourselves is part of growing up and it teaches responsibility. However, when we talk about such a taboo subject such as death, we seem to not want to make any type of choices at times! I feel like the healthcare system would run so much smoother and it would make it so much easier on families if people would have their end of life decisions out there. Families play a huge role in anyone’s life and I may be just speaking for myself, but if something where to happen to me I would hate to see my family fighting over choices that I may not even want! Glad to hear your grandmother is a survivor 🙂

  3. I like how this blog post is straight and to the point. It’s true, not many people, at least none that I know of, discuss their end-of-life decisions in every day conversations. It’s a pretty depressing topic and I feel like people are too busy living they never really sit down and think about when it’s all going to end. I agree that many people wait till the last minute to make decisions and end up making a decision they don’t want or someone else makes the decision for them. It happens everyday when friends are deciding places to eat or go out. You have to make a decision like this as soon as possible. I also agree that patients and patient’s family members should ask as many questions as they please. It is good to know exactly what is going on rather than worrying and feeling as if you do not have closure because there are so many unanswered questions about either your treatment or a loved one’s treatment.

  4. Our society tends to overlook the importance of advanced directives. We even overlook how critical it is to involve your family in each individual’s EOL decisions. Families are able to provide a comfort setting that no hospital or healthcare facility will be able to provide for their loved ones. When discussing a persons directives, families can insure that the person is thinking rationally and can provide recommendations as well as comfort. Death brings up the unknown which is why I really believe we avoid the topic of death.

  5. I really liked your post. I agree when it comes to the point you made that people do not think about those decisions or even talk about it until it is too late and they don’t have time to process. I also agree that the more questions asked, the better. It is important that the family and the patient understands what is really going on and what will happen. They should all be involved in every step of the process to help their loved one with such a difficult time in their life. It is all about the patient’s wishes and how they want to deal with their end of life. I’m glad to hear your grandmother is doing great! 🙂

  6. I’m glad your grandmother is doing well! 🙂 And that is absolutely true! The social stereotype about a doctor’s cold-heartedness has to disappear: and more families and people should be encouraged to ask questions to their doctors, and discuss situations and procedures and operations and the effects of procedures and medications with the doctors.
    In such situations, it is better if the “cat is curious or doubtful.”
    It is really important that death and dying classes be taught to young kids and young adults: every adult should be pushed to look into advanced directives and living wills: it is never too late to make decisions on what you would do when facing a life-threatening situation.

  7. I liked the point you bring up in your first paragraph that people do not feel comfortable talking about end of life decisions. This just highlights what we have learned in class about America being a death denying culture. It is sad that we have the freedoms to be able to make decisions about our end of life care, yet we neglect to do so because we do not want to confront death. Doctors usually know when a patient is dying, but with respect to the family they won’t say it directly. If Americans were more comfortable with the concept of death I think they would be more comfortable asking the doctor questions like you pointed out here. They could learn to look at death as a process of life, not just as life ceasing to exist, and I think that would help people to better prepare for it.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post! I liked how you went straight to the point and talked about your own personal experience. I agree that the more questions you ask the better it is for both the doctor and families to get an understanding as to when it comes to the procedures and conditions of the illness. I also have to agree with you as to how people wait until they are in a situation when it comes to end of life decisions and it becomes too late. Even though it is a scary idea when it comes to doing ones advance directives, for those who have a family history should definitely get an advance directive just to be on the same side.

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