People always find it hard to accept the incoming death of a family member; regardless whether it is sudden (accident), or the result of a chronic disease. There is always this (understandable) desire to hold on the dying person. Although this desire is surely a sign of love and affection, it might go against the wishes, and the well-being of the person who’s dying. This can become an even bigger issue when the family cannot agree on a decision; and so, a moment for family unity and mutual support can turn into quarrels when family members begin arguing over what should be done. Therefore, when it comes to end of life decisions, Americans have a responsibility to take the necessary steps to avoid such situation, should they find themselves in a situation where they cannot speak for themselves. Such steps may include discussing end of life decisions with their children and spouse, now that they’re healthy and able to. They may also opt to have advance directives, and/or appoint proxies.
Patients should play a direct role in end-of-life, i.e. they should always be aware of their health conditions, and make it known to their families what they want, as death approaches. It is also the in the families’ best interest to find out the wishes of their loves ones.
From a medical point of view, I do not think it’s possible for patients and their families to ever know enough to question a decision made by a healthcare provider. However, any decision made by a healthcare provider should always follow the wishes of the patient or his/her family. If it is obvious that the healthcare provider is not acting in the patients’ best interest, then it is within the family’s right to question the decisions made by the healthcare provider. In any case, the relationship between a doctor and a patients and his/her family is very crucial. It is important that the patient and his/her family be able to ask questions to find out the best possible options – that is another crucial responsibility of both the patient and his/her family.