“Do Americans have a responsibility to make their own decisions regarding end-of-life preferences? If so, what responsibility do they have? What role or responsibilities do patients and the patients’ families have in supervising their end-of-life? Can a patient or their family ever know enough to question a decision made by a healthcare provider? Should they question decisions made by healthcare providers?”
As much as it would be easy to never have to think of end of life wishes or things you do not want done medically, I believe that we all have a responsibility to make our decisions known. What I mean by that is that if you go through life, and never write it down, or even tell those you love verbally, no one will know what you wanted done with your body. If you have the choice to choose and cause the family less stress by having the decisions already made, then why would we not?
I think that patients should have their original wishes recorded in the form of advanced directives and living wills etc. I feel like once that is done and if there is a healthcare proxy put into place, the duty them is for the patients’ families to do the person’s wishes to the best of their abilities. There are reasons why people have opinions about the end of life, and I feel that in order to make them have their say all the way until the end, and even after, (when talking about burial types) then they should have their wishes fulfilled.
I feel like as far as “knowing more than the doctor” goes it is strictly a case by case basis. I feel as though in some cases all the doctors see is that they must prolong life, quantity not quality. When sometimes the best thing to do is remove the cords, drugs, and machines, and let God do the work. What’s meant to be will be. That is what I think. Sometimes just letting go, and letting the person suffer no longer in a foreign broken body, is a lot easier than the painfully expensive medical bills, and machines that breathe for the patient. I feel as though this depends on how well you know the person, not so much knowledge of the subject, but knowledge of what the patient really wanted.
I think that if people would talk, or at least write things down, that everyone would be in better shape. Because the best way to be able to question a doctor about a decision is if you know or have proof that the patient would not have wanted it that way. Then if they feel inclined to do something, then question the doctor according to the advanced directives that are in affect. To bring this back to relate to the article a bit, I thought it was great what the author said about it being a terrible time but that she felt comforted by the fact that she knew that’s what her mother wanted. And even though she was gone, she went with dignity and managed to save money by not having unnecessary treatments.