Free «Facing Death» Essay Sample

The PBS documentary Facing Death is a sensitive insight into tough decisions that families and friends face in reference to the issue of end-of-life care. The tremendous technological advances made in health care have made it possible to sustain life, which patients suffering from severe illnesses are nursed under the intensive care unit. Although this is an expensive affair, it does not cure the ailment. The intensive care unit only serves the purpose of prolonging life. For instance, a cancer patient will only benefit from a prolonged life, but will eventually die.

In my point of view, the PBS documentary is quite informative. In fact, the PBS documentary has had a significant impact on how I view end-of-life care. Since the patient’s family is already aware of the forthcoming death due to cancer or an incurable ailment, it is best to embrace euthanasia. The patients under the intensive care unit are only kept under normal body functioning by the machines which sustain the blood pressure and normal breathing. In addition, the patients do not have the energy to feed themselves hence they are fed by the use of machines as well. Critically, the expenditure of maintaining a patient at the intensive care unit is not worth since the patient is suffering from a terminal illness, which is known to be incurable beyond a reasonable treatment. It does not make sense subjecting a person under intensive care unit, and yet it is known they are getting weaker signaling their death. It is a difficult moment for families to watch their loved ones being in such pain, but opting for end-of-life care for an incurable ailment is a waste of resources since they only do so out of the pity or the love they have for them. It is not only a waste of resources, but also a hit on the belt for the patient since they experience stern suffering all along.

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The PBS documentary has covered the end-of-life care extensively inclusive of the contemporary issues in this subject. I like the real-life situation presentations of the end-of-life care in which the families of a patient suffering from a terminal ailment are in the course of making a decision on whether to continue with the intensive care unit option or go for euthanasia. These presentations vividly illustrate what a difficult situation it is; unlike a description of the situation would do since the parties involved are present and discuss the issue with the doctors at the ICU.

However, the PBS documentary fails to point out the significance of the ICU in cases of probably curable ailments that a patient can be healed with medical attention at the ICU. Although the end-of-life care unit is meant for the extreme cases in which patients cannot be cured, there are instances whereby the illness cannot be termed as totally incurable hence there is a chance of the patient getting cured. In such circumstances, the end-of-life care and the costly intensive care unit cannot be said to be a waste of resources since a patient’s recovery can reverse the situation. For instance, a patient who is in a partial comma has a 50% chance to recover, and can resume a normal life of being productive. Therefore, these special cases ought to be considered as well since such people would become useful to the society once again and contribute to the economy.

The PBS Facing Death documentary is a good material for use to teach students on end-of-life care. Firstly, the PBS Facing Death is explicit in the issues involved with the end-of-care life practice. Secondly, the documentary has comprehensively covered on ways how caregivers can possibly offer emotional support to the patient. In addition, the documentary covers the ways on how to comfort emotionally the family of the patient and prepare them for the probable eventuality of a patient’s fate without hiding the truth of the situation or giving them false hope.

In conclusion, it is absolute insensitive to outrule euthanasia when it is for the good of both the patient and family members who bear the burden of paying the immense hospitalization bill for the end-of-life care. I would suggest that an open-minded approach should be applied to the issue of end-of-life care for patients suffering from terminal ailments.


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