August 26, 2012
Cultural Attitudes Toward Prolonging Life
A 25-year-old woman is dying of cancer. She has asked the “no extreme procedures be used to prolong life.” She is now comatose and can be kept alive only with machines. How would you decide whether her will should be respected? This question was given in class and the majority of my group responded that they would not go to any extreme measures to keep the 25-year-old woman alive. The majority of the group reasons were that it was her will and if that what she wanted then that’s what should happen. Another reason my group decided to go along with the woman’s will is the fact that medical procedures are very costly. One more reason my group decided to go along with the woman’s will is because she is suffering from an illness and it would be in her best interest not to have to suffer anymore. Although the majority of the group decided no to go to any extremes to prolong her life, I decided not to give up on life. I know that it might sound selfish on my part but life is a very special gift. My grandfather was a victim of cancer and he, despite all of the suffering he endured, wanted to stay alive for as long as he could. He wanted to remain a strong influence on how is family viewed life. Through the radiation treatments and constants visits to doctors he never gave up on his life. I can remember him saying “Baby I’m sick but I’m here with you and it makes the pain seem a bit more bearable.” Through this I learned never to give up on life even when it seem like there is no hope left.
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