Withold Life Support

Topics: Death, Life, Medicine Pages: 4 (1259 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Withdrawing/Withholding Life Support: Pros and Cons

November 16, 2012

When a person is being sustained by life support, families and loved ones are frequently confronted with the resolve about when to terminate these supports (Meeker, 2012). Recently it has turned into “pulling the plug” prior to death regardless of the tubes and machines keeping the patient alive. Withdrawal choices are informal and quietly decided. If these life-ending decisions were standardized and validated, maybe some of these safety measures can be useful to other choices approaching the idea of drawing life to a close, even for those who aren’t dependent on life-supports (Meeker, 2012). As we advance towards the twenty first century, it will become more common for us to be supported by equipment and medications the last few days or weeks of our lives. If some disease or condition that would, as a rule, take months or even years to bring death, the need for life-support could be longer. “Withdrawing life-sustaining treatment such as artificial ventilation means to discontinue it after it has been started. Withholding life-sustaining treatment means never starting it,” (Fremgen, 2012). If in fact we are being kept alive by any form of medical equipment, any choices made about the best time to die and the best means to allow our deaths should contain queries about what to do with the life-support systems in place, sustaining life (Lin, 2003).

Withdraw/Withhold Life Support: Pros and Cons
Ending Life-Supports: A Well-Established Medical Procedure
Ethics in medicine in the twenty first century contains ceasing life-supports. Certain end-of-life choices consist of never commencing life-supports once it is well-defined that starting the patient on a ventilator will only lengthen the method of dying (Lotto, 2012). Loved ones involved in this end-of-life decision will probably decide not to prolong the process of dying (Efstathiou, 2011). Reasonable people usually agree...

References: Efstathiou, N., & Clifford, C. (2012). The critical care nurse 's role in End-of-Life care: issues and challenges. Nursing In Critical Care, 16(3), 116-123.
Fremgen, Bonnie F., Fourth Edition, (2012). Medical Law and Ethics, 13, 322-344.
Hov, R., Hedelin, B., & Athlin, E. (2010). Being an intensive care nurse related to questions of withholding or withdrawing curative treatment. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 16(1), 203-211.
Lin, R. J. (2003). Withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment—A physician 's personal reflection. Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 9(1), 10-15.
Lotto, L., Manfrinati, A., Rigoni, D., Rumiati, R., Sartori, G., & Birbaumer, N. (2012). Attitudes Towards End-of-Life Decisions and the Subjective Concepts of Consciousness: An Empirical Analysis. Plos ONE, 7(2), 1-5.
Meeker, M., & Jezewski, M. (2012). Metasynthesis: withdrawing life-sustaining treatments: the experience of family decision-makers. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(2), 163-173.
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