the use of life-sustaining measures in the face of terminal illness

The use of life-sustaining measures in the face of terminal illness

  • (100+ words per response) 
  • Discussion responses should demonstrate critical thinking skills and be thoughtful, promote, and respectful
  • Posting should ask for clarification, challenge (respectfully) ideas, or describe a situation that illustrates the points being made. Simply agreeing or disagreeing with a post is not adequate.

Need to respond 1

Would I want to be placed in a nursing home if my condition warrants it? I would say it depends. If my condition warrants it then I would want to, but not on a permanent but temporary basis, at least until I am well enough to return to home care. However, if we are to be realistic, making such decisions is not that simple. There are other major factors that must be considered before a decision like that can be made, factors that are able to influence reality.

It is only natural, that one would want to be around families and relatives than a nursing home, especially being at the point in life where one is old and could give up the ghost at any time. This is why Home Care under the right circumstances is also a very good alternative to Nursing Homes. For instance, 42% of Covid-19 deaths in the U.S, have been linked to nursing homes. So, being in a nursing home doesn’t necessarily mean someone would be getting the best care and attention. It is not that simple.

Another salient factor to consider is the fact that living in a nursing home can be incredibly expensive. In 2018, the average cost of a private room was $8,365, amounting to more than $100,000 per year. This will be a lot, even for families that are comfortable. As much as I may not be able to take care of myself, I wouldn’t want to be a liability of that size. In this light, we can see that taking financial matters into account when making treatment decisions are extremely important. There is a need to be sure if the patient will continue to receive quality health care in the long run and not be abandoned or relegated to services that are unacceptable due to financial difficulty. There is a need to be sure, what kind of treatment, environment or plan would be affordable and best for the patient depending on financial strength. Considering the financial implications, there is a need to be sure whether a patient will be better in a nursing home or home care.

Health executives must manage these challenges to ensure that patient care doesn’t become unmanageably expensive. Financial matters can influence doctors to prescribe either a less expensive or more expensive medicine. This reinforces, that financial matters are major factors in deciding whether one would want to be placed in a nursing home or not, even if the condition warrants it. Therefore, all things being equal, I am of the opinion that I wouldn’t mind being placed in a nursing home as long as the financial power is there and as long as my other areas of concern are looked into and addressed accordingly.

Need to respond 2


How do you feel about the use of life-sustaining measures in the face of terminal illness?

In clinical settings, the use of life-sustaining measures such as the use of life-support machines is continually used to prolong the lives of patients. From a personal perspective, although life-sustaining measures are essential, the use of these interventions in chronic irreversible illnesses such as permanent coma is not only costly but also lowers the patient’s quality of life. According to Daugherty et al. (2019), while under a life support machine, the patient is fully-dependent on caregivers and healthcare workers for performing health activities for daily living. Therefore, putting patients with terminal illnesses where true recovery is not expected in life support machines is lowering their quality of life as they will live entirely dependent on caregivers. Additionally, life-sustaining measures are costly and it will put an unnecessary financial burden on the family of the patient who will be forced to cater to the medical costs leaving them in a bad financial position. Therefore, I sturdily believe that life-sustaining measures should be used for patients where recovery is expected.

How do you feel about particular medical procedures?

From a personal point of view, certain medical procedures such as mechanical breathing, CPR, parenteral nutrition, and cancer therapy are important in sustaining life in patients with severe illnesses. These procedures are important in promoting and improving patients’ wellbeing while also reducing unnecessary disability and premature death in patients. These interventions are such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also important in the management of certain oncologic conditions which left untreated can result in death or permanent disability. These medical interventions are therefore important in the promotion of individuals’ health while also ensuring the prevention of disability making them important procedures in the health care industry. Lastly apart from health promotion, these medical interventions also restore hope in the family members of patients which is crucial especially when dealing with patients where survival chances are slim.

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