We open our eyes in this vibrant world to let nature show us its traits. We play around, go to work, spend time with our loved ones, and do whatever we desire. Everything brings us joy and sentiments unless a calamity in the form of illness or age hits us. There is no doubt that everyone has come on this planet with an expiry date. Nature always knows what is good for us.
Medical sciences have climbed the ladder of advancement to such a height where the death can be paused and prolonged. It has changed the norms of death. But the recovery of a person is yet to be promised. Even after tremendous achievements, medical science can’t guarantee that a dying person can be recovered from his illness, and be lively again without any secondary support. One can stay alive with machines, but what’s the use if he can’t have a meaningful life afterward?
End-of-Life care comes up with lots of excruciating dilemmas. The thought of a loved one dying soon in front of your eyes can pull the soul from your body. A lot of ethical issues arise due to these circumstances. The patients, their families, and the caretakers all go through a series of pain.
Sometimes, the patients urge to extricate themselves from suffering, but their families want them not to give up and combat it. Nobody has satisfaction. Is too much being done? Is it not enough to be done? Are the facilities up to the mark? What is better? These are some of the questions hovering over everyone involved in end-of-life care.
Physicians and health workers who dispense their services to end-of-life care patients face a lot of ethical dilemmas. They have to make decisions that may go against the wills of the patients. Due to medical advancement, these problems have increased to a great extent.
If a patient is not capable enough to make his own decisions, it creates a lot of hassle for the health care workers and the family. To understand the ethical dilemmas in-depth, read more about it here so that you know how to deal with it if someone from your family, God forbid, faces this gloom. Let us discuss some of the ethical issues that are involved in end-of-life care.
Everyone has the autonomy to do whatever they want to do for themselves without violations of rules and regulations. Sometimes in end-of-life care, patients don’t want to continue their treatments because they have suffered enough.
The families out of fondness don’t want it and elongate the care duration. They don’t give a second thought about the advance directives of the patients. It is a direct attack on the patients’ autonomy, which is ethically and morally wrong.
A person has a complete right over his life, except the natural death. Sometimes the families don’t even involve the patients’ wishes in the final decisions of end-of-life care. In critical situations of end-of-life care, patients are not capable of deciding anything for them.
When patients can’t talk for themselves, it all comes to healthcare workers and families to choose. They might make a decision that is against the will of the patient. They receive end-of-life care, which is inconsistent with their end-of-life care preferences. It is one of the vital issues that unquestionably come.
When a person is in his last stage of life and supported by secondary sources to live, it has some vices. Sometimes, health workers take measures for the treatment that results in harm.
But the current damage maybe a lot less excruciating than the harm that may come shortly. It is a justifiable act if the act is for a greater good than the intention of harming the patient on purpose. But after all, to cause pain to any patient is not suitable in that uncertain period of life.
End-of-life care is not an easy task. Everyone has to go through the agony. The person on the death bed goes through a constant torment when death is approaching.
To avoid such circumstances and ease the pain, the healthcare workers sometimes offer terminal sedation so that the patient can pass to the other world without any consciousness. The purpose is to relieve the hardships that are showing no signs of recovery and accelerating death. But these are the justifications that healthcare provides, not the patients.
Burdening Healthcare System
It is common in older adults that their will powers are strong. They want to live life to the fullest, even though their time is already over. They don’t think about the next generation that is coming in and requires more care than them.
It is morally wrong to prioritize one person over another, but the truth remains the same. They or their families insist on the treatments that are futile and will not provide any fruitful results. It is a havoc burden on the healthcare system.
The ethical issues in end-of-life care are enormous. The problem comes when difficult decisions are on the table. Healthcare workers should take a step to discuss the desires of patients for end-of-life care.
There should be advance directives of patients before their condition gets worse, and they cannot decide for themselves. It can avoid a lot of ethical problems as everything will be according to the patients’ wills.