Pull The Plug Essay, Research Paper
Just for a minute, imagine yourself no longer in control of your body. Your mind is not really very useful anymore either. You can t recognize anyone, you don t know who you are, and you will only get worse. You are in pain and the medicine is not doing the trick, but you can no longer communicate that fact. The world slowly slips away with whispers of confusion and shouts of pain. Nobody but you can hear them and nobody can hear you. Would you want to go on? Perhaps you would want to be left to go in peace?
I know its almost impossible for most people to imagine themselves in a condition like the one just suggested. There are of course different cases with varying conditions, but for the record, would you want to live through great suffering at the end of your life? If the unnatural machines that kept you alive were just taken away, would you really want them back, or would you be grateful. My point, is that we as humans try to bring other humans through every disease that afflicts and effects them, and even defy death with our magnificent machines without thinking about just how far to go. We have the abilities to cure sicknesses that once destroyed whole societies. We can keep people alive indefinitely, but when is it too long. I m not saying that modern medicine and its technology is bad. I m a perfect example of medical technology myself. I ve had three heart-sugeries and I m still here. I was lucky enough to make it, but some aren t. We have to realize that when it comes to things such as these, we are not in complete control, even with our Harvard Grads, and super machines .
You then might ask me, How are we supposed to know when to pull the plug? Well I don t believe I m the one to say. To be honest, I don t think you are either. Whose really to say that there is even a plug to pull. If there were someway to get the patients thoughts on this kind of matter beforehand, like a living Will, then that, I think is best. The next best would have to be the family s decision, but only if the family is thinking of the patient first, rather than themselves, in terms of the benefits of any action taken. Lastly, I believe that doctors should be looking into these situations a little more closely. The doctors naturally should know best, but how much attention are they really paying. Maybe a whole new branch of medicine should be started to develop methods of determining when and when not to pull the plug(s).
There are alternatives to suffering in a hospital and not being allowed to depart in peace. Something that I was able to witness was a program called Hospice. The patient, my grandfather, was able to stay at home peacefully. A nurse would come to take care of him and keep him from suffering, and he seemed to be at ease. It was almost a natural way to end your life compared to the way you might end up dying in a hospital. He had no machines to rely on, and that in itself was actually comforting to the rest of the family. When his time came, he didn t want to fight it, because he knew it would only open the avenue to suffering. He did die peacefully and the family was comforted in the fact that he did not suffer.
Some questions that should be raised above all, seem to be overlooked by everyone. Who is benefiting from being kept alive by machines? Are the patients, the family, the doctor, the insurance company, other patients? Are these patients really incompetent, and therefore, should their wishes be ignored? Do we think we know more than we really do? What kind of suffering would it take for you to want to die, and do you think that s what these patients really feel? Is there any thing else we can do, such as change treatment, instead of the same old treatment that obviously is not working?
We have to also remember that, we are humans. We don t always know what is best. We make mistakes and we make discoveries. Just because we can do something doesn t mean we should or that we have to. If someone saves someone from pain and suffering, then we should praise him or her, not punish them.
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