Death is a personal experience and to ensure loved one’s wishes, there has to be the ‘what if’ conversation. It is natural to talk about the possible end with loved ones after marriage and having children. Living wills are obtained and do not resuscitate orders, thoughts of a possible guardian for the children, life insurance, appointing a health care agent, and any other loose ends that will ensure the well being of the family. A health care agent is someone who the patient designates to make medical decisions, if decisions cannot be made generally. The chosen agent should be a person who knows the wishes on the extent of medical care treatment wanted. The appointed health care agent should be someone who is not afraid to ask questions of the healthcare professionals to get information needed to make decisions and be assertive to ensure that wishes are respected. (Healthcare Agents, n.d.).
While the thought of ensuring the patient’s last wishes by a health care agent is present, consider this scenario. There is a 68 year old male patient with a medical history including a hea...
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...What Are the Potential Cost Savings from Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide? The New England Journal of Medicine, 339, 167-172.
Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full
Healthcare Agents, (n.d.). Healthcare Agents: Choosing One and Being One. Caring Connections.
Retrieved from http://www.caringinfo.org
Rurup, M. L., Pasman, H. R. W., Goedhart, J., Deeg, D. J. H., Kerkhof, A. J. F. M., & Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B. D. (2011). Understanding Why Older People Develop a Wish to Die. The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 32(4), 204-216.
Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/ehost/pdfviewer
American Thoracic Society, (n.d.). Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. American Thoracic Society.
Retrieved from http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/critical-care/patient-information/withdrawal-of-life-sustaining-treatments.php
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