Struggling with End of Life Care Decisions

Posted on July 18, 2013

I just finished reading a compelling article in the NY Times about the painful and complex process of making end of life decisions. The author, Margaret Pabst Battin, insightfully and eloquently describes the realities of the decisions that she and her husband, Brooke, struggle with in the face of his devastating injury.

Their story  is made all the more poignant because before his injury, Brooke had thoughtfully discussed his wishes with his wife, who is an end of life  bioethicist, and he had completed advance directives. I wanted to share this article since it so clearly shows the “human” and relationship factors that contribute to these very difficult medical decisions.  Illustrating that there is never one “correct” care decision and discussing end of life decisions in the abstract is very different than making decisions when death is staring you in the face.