The Use of Medical Technology to Prolong Life

The Use of Medical Technology to Prolong Life
Team D
Santana Allen, Stephanie Beres, Rasonia Herring, Stephanie Seiler
HCS 578
June 20, 2011
Lenora Smith

The Use of Medical Technology to Prolong Life
As technology continues to change and improve health care, advances in health care pose a threat to end-of-life care.   Continued advances in technology assist individuals at end-of-life to live longer with life support systems. Examples of these systems include ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machines, and feeding tubes.   With all of the advances in technology, many family members may not know when to say “enough is enough” and to let the patient die peacefully.   Health care providers face a similar dilemma with the inability to say “we have done all we can do.”   Many questions surround the advances in technology and end-of-life care and need to be answered.  
The combination of technology and end-of-life care brings with it a differing of opinions in health care.   Many health care providers assert that all efforts be made to keep a patient alive, but the opposition considers this type of care futile.   This debate continues in health care with no clear-cut answer available.   The material provided in this paper covers the questions to the supporting and opposing sides of end-of-life care and give insight to both sides.   This ongoing debate affects the patient, family members and health care staff caring for the patient.
The Proponent Argument
How does one ignore advanced directives or a patient’s autonomy when the decisions is to forego treatment? Opposition would have everyone believe that health care providers should not ignore the advanced directives or a patient’s autonomy. Our contention is that people ignore advanced directives or patient autonomy because doing so determines a chance exists that the disease or disorder is treatable. An example involves a nursing-home resident who’s code status was do not recusitate according to his living will....