The Article ' What Broke My Father 's Heart '

1123 Words Oct 1st, 2015 5 Pages
The article “What Broke My Father’s Heart” by Katy Butler is a memoir that describes the deterioration of her father Jeffery along a seven-year span. He was full of life and mentally engaged well into his 70’s until the age of 79 when he suffered a stroke. The stroke left him with considerable problems. Despite his drive and determination to overcome the strokes after effects, he deteriorated. Jeffery told his wife, “I don’t know who I am anymore.” After developing a painful hernia the following year that required surgery to be repaired, Jeffery’s cardiologist requested a preoperative cardiology clearance. The cardiologist stated he would not perform the surgery unless he received a pacemaker for his slow heart rhythm. His wife consented due to being overwhelmed and fatigued. The pacemaker insertion was apparently successful, but Katy’s father continued to go downhill. Four years after the pacemaker was put in, Katy’s mother asked her husband’s cardiologist to turn off the device, but he denied her request. Eight years after his initial stroke, Jeffery passed due to pneumonia. But even after his passing, Jeffery’s pacemaker continued to work flawlessly. The issue is whether to respect the family’s autonomy and remove the pacemaker that is prolonging Jeffery’s life and create more suffering, or if this is beneficent. Today, pacemakers are a common treatment for cardiac rhythm problems and can be life sustaining. According to Zellner et al. (2009), “As patients age and…
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