Pharmacological And Medical Technology Advances

1510 Words7 Pages
Imagine having to make the decision to take a loved one off a ventilator or removing a tube feeding. What would they want? Would they want to live in a nursing home, connected to “tubes,” possibly without a means to communicate or care for themselves? How would they define “Quality of Life”? Have you ever discussed with them what their wishes are if they are unable to speak for themselves? Have they discussed it with family or friends? Did they write their wished down anywhere? Would it make the decision easier if you knew you’re loved one’s wishes? Can you feel the stress, anxiety and dread overcoming you? Unfortunately this scenario occurs every day. Pharmacological and medical technology advances have prolonged life through the development of life sustaining therapies such as antibiotics, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilation, feeding tubes and hemodialysis (HD). While prolonging life, it has also raised the question of quality of life and thus the need for end of life planning by individuals. Unfortunately, laws have been unable to keep pace with medical advances. There have been several well publicized cases involving end of life care for persons in a persistent vegetative state and the request for withdrawal of life sustaining therapies (e.g. Karen Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan) that have brought this topic to the fore front of public attention and resulted in legal precedence concerning an individual’s wishes for end of life
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