The Fight for Life
Futile care treatment is complex and complicated. It is a topic that is wide spread in the medical community, but mostly unknown outside of the medical world. Futile cares unawareness better change fast. Hospital protocols are being put into place throughout the country. Unfortunately, the first time most patients and families are becoming aware of the doctors right to say no is during a medical crisis. Families are being bombarded with this unethical dilemma when they are in their most vulnerable state. Patients have the right to know what options they have before they ever need to make a medical decision. Futile care in hospitals disregards a patient’s directive or a family member’s decision and place all control in the hands of the doctor or ethical committee. Hospitals would therefore have the power to make decisions about one's life. How can anyone be certain the hospital is acting in the best interest of the patient?
“Terri Schiavo lay in a persistent vegetative state for fifteen years until she died on March 31 after hospice staff removed her life-sustaining feeding tube” ( “Right” 1). Terri suffered cardiac arrest in 1990 and became a world wide media whirlwind when her husband and family began to battle over her medical care. Her husband wanted to end all life sustaining treatment and her parents wanted the treatment continued even though she showed no signs of improvement. “Schiavo’s’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, fought Michael’s request bitterly and relentlessly in a battle that eventually engaged the entire nation – including President Bush and the U.S. Congress – in a debate over how to decide medical treatment for patients unable to speak for themselves’ (“Right” 2 ). Terri’s husband shared his wife’s end of life wishes to her parents but because there was no advanced care directive, her parents had the right to intervene in medical decisions.
What is an advanced care directive? An advanced directive...