End of Life Issues

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End of Life Issues Alicia Lange Indian River State College End of Life Issues In today’s society with the advancement of modern medicine and technology, ethical dilemma’s regarding quality of life versus quantity of life exists. Everyday families and loved ones are faced with the grueling decision to keep their loved ones alive as opposed to letting them die a peaceful, natural death. Being faced with the notion that modern medicine and technology can keep someone alive, but not add to the quality of their lives is a difficult decision we will all possibly face one day, either with ourselves, or our loved ones. Because of the advances in medicine and technology today, people are living longer with a growing number of elderly persons. Even though many of these elderly patient’s have Living Wills in place, the dilemma at times is that the family is not quite ready to let go. The patient’s wish’s regarding what they would choose if faced with a terminal illness with no hope of recovery should take precedence over anything else, but this is not always the case. As healthcare workers, we are often faced with this dilemma, dealing with families not willing to let go, even though it is obvious that the patient is suffering and there is no chance of recovery. Is allowing the patient a “good death” what is morally right? Or, is honoring the family’s wishes to keep that patient alive at all cost morally acceptable? With the rising cost of health-care today, I believe that many factors should be taken into consideration in deciding what is morally correct regarding end of life issues with our patients. So, what constitutes a “good death”? Is it being able to die with peace and dignity? Or, is it doing everything medically possible to keep someone alive? I once had a patient’s wife tell me, “If God didn’t want him alive, he wouldn’t have allowed man to

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