Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Decisions at the End of Life - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Medical profession today is 'Accountable' to the society .i.e. obliged to the laws regulating the professional activity. One of the most difficult realities the doctors face is that, despite efforts and good care, some patients will die, either due to the nature of the diseases like Cancer or AIDS or due to developments related to patient's age and health conditions.
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.6% of users find it useful
Decisions at the End of Life
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Decisions at the End of Life"

Decisions at the End of Life Introduction: Medical profession today is 'Accountable' to the society .i.e. obliged to the laws regulating the professional activity. One of the most difficult realities the doctors face is that, despite efforts and good care, some patients will die, either due to the nature of the diseases like Cancer or AIDS or due to developments related to patient's age and health conditions.
Although, technological advances in health can bring extended and improved quality of life, the ability of these technologies to prolong life beyond a meaningful point has raised ethical issues, especially in "nothing more can be done" patients. Denial on the part of the patient and family members about the seriousness of Terminal illness has been a barrier to discuss about end of treatment options (Kubler-Ross 1969). The mode of Palliative care i.e. the comprehensive care of the patients whose disease is not responding to cure in today's scenario should be done only by proper practice procedures to safeguard the concerns of the physician, nurses and the patient. Studies have conformed that patients want information about their illness and end of life choices (McSkimming, 1994). The case of Nancy Curzon helped enormously to the evolution of 'laws on medical practice'. Nancy Curzon was a young woman involved in a car crash after which she remained in a persistent vegetative state. Inspite of a three year legal battle by her family to have her feeding tube removed to let her die, the U.S Supreme court decided that a state requires a "Clear and Convincing Evidence" of the patient's wishes before withdrawal of life-support. This gave rise to the 'Patient's Self-Determination Act, Dec. 1991'. The intent of this legislation is to encourage people to prepare 'Advance directives' in which they indicate their wishes concerning the degree of supportive care to be provided if they become incapacitated.
'Advance directives' are legal documents that specify a patient's wishes before hospitalization and provide the necessary information for tough decision making situations. Thus, proper documentation of the 'Advanced directives' is a key function in the care of the terminally ill patients. The Advance directive is usually composed of 1. Living will: It is a medical directive issued by an individual with sound mind. This documents treatment preferences and provides instructions of care. This is often accompanied by a 'Proxy directive'.
2. Proxy directive: This is the appointment and authorization of another individual to make medical directives on behalf of the person who created an advanced directive when he/she is no longer able to speak for himself/herself. This is known as Health Care Power of Attorney or 'Durable Power of Attorney'. Assisted suicide is a criminal offence except in the state of Oregon, U.S.A where there is a statute legalizing physician assisted suicide.
Apart from these legal documentation procedures, Diagnosis and Treatment Report which every health care delivery center today provides to the patient on the details of the diagnosis of the terminal disease with follow up instructions; The Health Record which is the record written and forms the legal evidence of treatment and Informed Consent which is the document recorded before any terminally ill person receives his chemotherapy or an invasive procedure should be properly documented. This means that tests, treatments and medications have been explained to the person, as well as outcomes, possible complications and alternative procedures.
Thus, the healthcare professionals should safeguard their ethical professional interests and the welfare of the terminally ill patients with a sense of responsibility.
Brunner & suddharth's, Suzanne C. Smeltzer, Brenda.G "Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing", 10th edn Lippincott U.S.A, 2004.
Hackensack Medical Center- Emergency Dept Report, "Hackensack University Medical Center", NJ, 02/19/2006.
Julia M. Leaby, Patricia E. Kizilay, "Foundations of Nursing Practice", W.B Saenders U.S.A, 1998.
Kubler - Ross E, "On death and dying", Macmillan New York, 1969.
Mc Skimming S.A,Super, A.,Driever, M.J,Schoessler, M., Franey S.G & Fonner E, "Living and Healing during life-threatening illness"; Portland, 1997.
Neil H.Baum, "Support your decisions with Evidence based Medicine", "Urology Times" Feb 1, 2003. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Decisions at the End of Life Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Decisions at the End of Life Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words. Retrieved from
(Decisions at the End of Life Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
Decisions at the End of Life Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words.
“Decisions at the End of Life Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Decisions at the End of Life

End of life debate

...? Ethical End of Life Decisions and Different Considerations: A case of Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) Patient College) This paper will try to discuss and justify my position to support the continuity of life of patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) in reference to various end of life decisions by looking into the different aspects of medical care as well as the ethical, social, and financial considerations that should be taken relative to the patient’s medical care.It consulted several academic materials in order to support and understand the above considerations to support the authors claim. Keywords: Systemic Lupus Erythematous, end of life decisions, ethical, financial, social, legal considerations. Ethical End of Life...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Alzheimer's Disease and End of Life Decisions

...Alzheimer's Disease and End of Life Decisions Introduction Alzheimer’s disease, usually abbreviated as AD, is a form of Dementia. Dementia is a form of illness that manifests itself through signs such as memory loss, change in personality and rapid changes in moods, altered communication and loss of speech. Currently, statistics show that there are over 500, 000 people USA suffering from dementia. The same statistics also show that one of every eighty five patients in the USA have Alzheimer’s disease (Lu and Bludau, 2011). Alzheimer’s disease has its name originating from the psychiatrist who discovered it, Alois Alzheimer. This was in 1901 when he observed and studied the disease in his first patient, and wrote about it in 1906 when his...
11 Pages(2750 words)Research Paper

End of Life Choices

... End of Life Choices Euthanasia, otherwise known as mercy killing or assisted suicide, has been a controversial subject for many centuries. Proponents of the practice believe that individual freedoms of choice that exist in life also extend to the end of life. They also argue that the sentiment of humane treatment afforded animals that are terminally ill or injured and are suffering should be given to humans as well. Opponents suggest that euthanasia is a ‘slippery slope’ that would allow increasing instances of coerced suicide, family members pressuring the elderly not to postpone their inevitable demise for financial reasons. In addition, the practice would lessen the urgency to develop new medicines designed to prolong life. Those...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Proposal

End-of-Life Care

Preparing a patient for end-of-life is extremely important and care should be taken to focus on achieving the best possible death for the patient and compassionate care for both the patient and the patient’s family (Wingate & Wiegand, 2008, p. 84). In my clinical experience, I have taken care of a 78-year-old South Asian male patient, Mr. K, who had been diagnosed with the last stage of chronic heart failure and was DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). He had been admitted to the cardiac floor and for three weeks had shown no signs of improvement. He was unable to carry out the activities of daily living. He experienced shortness of breath all the time and had repeatedly requested the oxygen levels to be increased. His symptoms of...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay


...Law Healthcare Ethics and End of Life Decisions Factors considered in court in defining death When it comes to law death is taken as an event that happens at a particular and precise moment in time and not a continuing event. In determining whether a person is dead or not in which proof is taken through checking of a person’s vital signs is not part of legal conclusion but relatively a medical judgment (Leaman & Glennys, 2001). In a court of law there are various factors that ought to be considered in defining. These factors include when and how the death occurred. Another factor that has to be considered is whether another individual needs to be charged for causing it or if it was under natural circumstances. There are also several...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay


Wrongful Birth Introduction A wrongful birth is a legal suit by the parents of a congenitally defective baby. This suit aims at holding the hospitals accountable for not informing the parents of their unborn baby’s health condition. Further, it stems from the fact that the parents cannot be able to raise the unexpected defective child owing to financial constraints or other viable reasons. The suits filed so far give precedence for the crime of withholding information from the parents, by doctors or medical personnel, regarding the condition of their unborn child (Pozgar 2011). The wrongful birth is synonymous, in certain circles, to wrongful life and elaborates that the sheer birth of the defective child is entirely by choice of...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay


...Healthcare Ethics and End of Life Decisions Physician assisted suicide is one of the most controversial issues in the medical field. A large section of society feels that it is wrong for anyone to aid another in terminating life. This is irrespective of the health situation or condition. However, this position is considered more ideal than actual given the situation of terminally ill patients and others undergoing absolute suffering. Under these circumstances, it may be considered fair for a physician to help in terminating life. In such a situation, assisted suicide is considered a preferable option given that there is no chance that the patient may recover. Given a situation where the patient prefers death, the physician has...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay


Healthcare Ethics Case Study Healthcare Ethics Case Study In the practice of health care provision, individuals face moral challenges that propagate them in to undertaking practices that are ethically in correct. Ideally, euthanasia is the most common ethical dilemma that that many individuals tend to battle with from within themselves. For instance, euthanasia is the merciful take away the life of patients because of their state due to sickness (Pozgar, 2012). According to religious scholars, this practice is unethical, as they hav the belief that no man has the power to deprive any one of their life irrespective of the health suffering that they may be going through. This causes an ethical challenge because decision is critical...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

End of Life Decisions: Making the right choice for you

...End of Life Decisions: Making the Right Choice for You Palliative care program is often associated with patients with a serious complex illness and it mainly focuses on relieving and minimizing the patients’ sufferings. During end of life, patients are offered palliative care by administering pain-relieving medication to ease the pain and suffering (Smith, 2012). The question of palliative care helps clients plan for alleviating pain and symptoms, help live life to the fullest and simultaneously have a voice in their care. This is done through the Rights to self-determination of treatment, medical experimentation during end of life, the ethics and effectiveness of continued routine medical interventions, allocation of resources and life...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper

Honoring Patient Autonomy at End-of-life decisions

...Honoring Patient Autonomy and End-of-Life Decision-Making By Table of Contents Introduction 3 Definition of Patient Autonomy 4 Definition of the Problem 4 Goal of Patient Autonomy 5 Importance of Improving Patient Autonomy 6 Patient Autonomy and the Law 10 Conclusion 18 Works Cited 20 Introduction Patient autonomy refers to the practice of respecting a patient’s right to make decisions about the medical treatment he or she will or will not receive (Entwistle, Carter, Cribb, and McCaffery, 741). The concept of patient autonomy is founded on principles of self-determination, privacy, free will, responsibilities and rights, all a part of Western ideological perspectives (Norman, 36). From a legal perspective however, respect for patient...
20 Pages(5000 words)Thesis

System Development Life Cycle

As the prototype or demo system is further defined, feedback is elicited from users (Harbison, 1997) Thus, the domain models, reference requirements, and reference architecture are continually validated. The prototype or demonstration system development process provides further validation of these requirements and models and identifies needed refinements.
It can be problematic in the situation where the customer after viewing the prototype considers it to be the final version, satisfies and demands a few more changes without analyzing the back end development complications.
The iterative model is the actual implementation of the Waterfall model, due to which it is termed as a “mini-waterfall model”. The reaso...
9 Pages(2250 words)Assignment

Managing Human Resources: Productivity, Quality of Work Life

Empowering employees and organizing around teams are aimed at BMW for facilitating communication and making it easier for decisions to be made. It helps the company to respond quickly to customer’s needs and it’s competitor’s challenges. It helps them learn to prioritize tasks and reduce job stress. A workforce that is knowledgeable and skilled at doing complex things keeps a company competitive and attracts investments. Improved productivity means fewer people, less money, less time, less space and fewer resources. Bonuses are given to workers on giving superb ideas related to cutting cost savings, as they are directly involved in the production. BMW prefers increased participation from the worker’s side....
6 Pages(1500 words)Assignment

Human Resource Management: Work-Life Balance

Corporate leaders understand that employee's work and family lives rarely inextricably linked. They always have been but today, with increased pressures in both domains, the overlap and the challenges created are increasingly obvious and complex to resolve. Solving the paradox seated in an organization need to be optimally productive and the individuals need to find quality time to meet domestic responsibilities, to establish, maintain and grow relationships and to relax and re-charge, is the great challenge of the new millennium. Most managers have yet to overcome the conundrum for themselves let alone help employees resolve it in their lives.
The prospects for easing the work/ life imbalance dilemma lie, at least in part, i...
10 Pages(2500 words)Assignment

Effects of Menopause on Women's Life

It is typically accompanied by some distressing physical and psychological symptoms in women that also impact middle adulthood. There is variation in the age at which menopause occurs; in the USA the average age at menopause is 51 years, but the usual range is 45 to 56 years. For unknown reasons ovaries gradually begin to change on hormone production during a womens mid-30s. In the womens the late 40s, the process speeds up and hormones fluctuate or change more causing irregular periods.

Some womens periods stop suddenly; others experience a perimenopause, a phase of irregular menstruation, and symptoms such as memory disturbance, bloating and feeling tired, that may be troublesome for 5 to 10 years. (Brown, 2002)
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

Its a Wonderful Life and The Third Man: Messages in Film

The film It’s a Wonderful Life is 1946, World War II, a film by director Frank Capra, starring a beloved American actor, Jimmy Stewart. The film is intended to inspire hope, which might have been sorely lacking in World War II America. The themes of hope, faith, and goodwill are prevalent. Faith is prominent, in that, an angel is sent to guide an earthly human, George Bailey, in his life during a time when the world around him seems to be falling apart. The film begins by establishing the fact that a heavenly hand is needed in the life of the main character, George Bailey (Gehring, Wes, 1988, 135). The segue then is to the young George Bailey, so that the angel, and the audience, can understand who George Bailey is as an adu...
11 Pages(2750 words)Movie Review

Reflecting on Personal Life Experiences Utilizing Sociological Perspectives

The experience would touch on my initiation to my very first educational experience and developing my primary group in school.

Secondly, I would reflect on my studies during elementary years in a small exclusive private school in Vietnam. The next phase I consider of great significance in my academic experience is the privilege given me during my 9th grade to 12th-grade studies in a relatively different culture, in Melbourne, Australia.

Finally, a milestone in this journey through life is the recent migration to the United States to complete my higher education with Chemistry as my major in Evergreen Valley College, San Jose, California.

The evolution of sociology could be traced to the development...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

The Life and Works of Billy Graham

He was just a servant of God, an instrument in preaching and disseminating the good news to people. He claims no supernatural power but his talent in proclaiming God’s word has never failed to show God’s power and sovereignty (Strober, & Strober, 2003).

He was born and raised by Marrow Coffey and William Franklin Graham in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, 1918, and dreamt of becoming a baseball player. He has a sister named Katherine, both of which were raised in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1933, at the end of the Prohibition in the United States, their father forced them to drink until they vomit, leading to Graham’s aversion towards alcohol and drugs. He graduated from...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

The Life of Dr. King

When the time came, he kept his word, which led to incarceration in Birmingham. There were many people who felt Dr. King should not be involved in the freedom process taking place in Alabama because he was an “outsider”, hence his response to the naysayer in his letter from the Birmingham jail.

Many felt that Dr. King was an “outsider” meddling in matters that did not concern him. Dr. King's accusers said that he was creating tension in society, going against the laws of the land, and not concerned with the matters of the church. Similarly, Socrates's accusers stated that he was promoting general corruption, corrupting amongst the youth, and his motives regarding following the law of the land are...
7 Pages(1750 words)Case Study

Important Issues of Community Life

Community life has its advantages but also has its limitations to the members and the outsiders.
“The good things we secure for ourselves are uncertain and precious until it is secured for everyone and incorporated into our common life.”-Jane Addams. With society moving faster and more detached to technology, busy schedules, and job changes, it becomes harder and harder to feel a sense of community. This can result in a life of solitude and a lose a sense of belonging. Community life helps extract people out of this solitude life and introduce better, challenging and fun tasks such as participation in acts of kindness. It also provides room for volunteering, meeting neighbors, discussing important issues with othe...
7 Pages(1750 words)Case Study

The Life of an Aging Salesperson

The death of a salesperson focused on the rise and effect of capitalism in American society, in the 1950s. Capitalism led to the growth of consumerism among the American populations as everyone searched for his or her individual American dream. The dream, created by capitalistic principles, is all about people working hard for their goals that mostly comprise a comfortable life filled with one’s material desires. The plays’ main character, William Loman a salesperson, is hell-bent on achieving the American dream for his family despite his advanced age. In the course of the play, he tries to convince his son, Biff Loman, to aspire for greatness in life. Miller subtly criticizes Willy’s actions in attaining this dr...
8 Pages(2000 words)Literature review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Decisions at the End of Life for FREE!

Contact Us