Should We be responsible for death?



Taking responsibility for death is a crucial aspect in life today. Susan Jacoby addresses that concept from a first hand perspective in her New York Times article.  Susan discusses how the process of her mother’s death was less stressful because her mother made her wishes clear. In the article, Susan argues that too few Americans are taking on the responsibility of making end-of-life decisions. In my opinion, every American should have the responsibility to make these decisions. Each individual is accountable for his or her own destiny, and that includes his or her dying process. If a patient does not want to suffer through treatment, they shouldn’t have to. They need to make these decisions when they are right-minded and need to make their wishes known to their family. Susan shed light on an interesting aspect of end-of-life decisions. About 70% of Americans believe patients should be allowed to die when they want. However, only one-third of Americans have a living will, and only 69% have conversed with their spouse about it. I personally believe that it is important to express your wishes to your family members, so if something does happen, someone close to you would be able to make the right decisions. Also, I agree with Susan’s argument about the cost of treatment. Her mother did not want to continue staying at the hospital because of the extreme costs of treatment. This is an aspect of end-of-life decisions that people need to consider as well.  As mentioned in the article, the average hospital cost is $6,000 a day. In some cases, the cost is a burden to the family left behind, so it should be considered. When the family is well informed of the patient’s wishes, they can question a decision made by a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider would not know the patient personally like the family member would, thus the family member should intervene and question the healthcare provider when making important decisions.



4 thoughts on “Should We be responsible for death?

  1. You did an excellent job on expressing your thoughts clearly as well as connecting many great points to the article! Anyways, one main thing that you pointed out, which was stated in the article, is the fact that so many people have an opinion about dying yet only a small percentage actually have a living will. To me, this seems hypocritical.There are many responsibilities that adults have in this world, such as planning for retirement, taxes, etc. and end-of-life preferences should be one of them. However, there are many factors that prevent people from actually getting one. There is stigma that a living will is a death sentence, even though it is not. There might also be tension between family members that prevents discussion of future events regarding death. With all of that said, we can easily judge people and voice our opinions about how we are a death denying culture, but what do you think is a way to improve this problem?

  2. I agree with you when it comes to the person discussing their wishes with a close family member. There are always cases where a close relative must make that crucial decision. What happens if they haven’t had an in depth conversation about it with the patient? How can they make that decision if and when it comes down to it? I think that people should become more aware of the options when it comes to having a living will. Also, people should be informed about all of the options they have and that they can and should ask doctors as many questions as they want. I think a big problem is that the American people are not fully informed on most of the decisions that they have to make when it comes to end of life.

  3. I totally agree with what your saying in regards to the costs of trying to keep a loved one alive for as long as possible, knowing that certain healthcare providers will only cover up to a certain amount. And this is why it is important for every individual to have their directives and wishes clarified. On most occasions it’s the family members and loved ones that try to prolong the death, causing pain and suffering to the ill, and a life time of medical bills to clear. This is a responsibility every individual has , and we need to take it more seriously . This will not only benifit the ill person but it will also help the family and care givers when the time has come .

  4. Your blog is in every single way perfect. Individuals do have the responsibility of dealing with death same as they do with their life. I really liked how you added the statistics. That really makes the point that you are trying to prove. I also agree that it is important to let your family know the truth of how you feel and what you want to do. I really like how you also put in the fact about the cost. I feel that many people over look it saying that “you can’t put a cost on a life” but at the same time, how is spending all this money at the burden of another person’s life because they can’t afford health care.

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