When confronting serious medical decisions our attitude should be one of openness and wonder in front of a Mystery greater than ourselves. We set aside preconceptions and attend to the person in need as well as those who are serving him (doctors, nurses, chaplains, others).
As we journey together, we weigh the burdens and benefits of the proposed course(s) of action. All pertinent factors that contribute to the ‘burdensome-ness’ or ‘beneficial-ness’ are considered in our thinking – medical factors, psychological issues, costs, family concerns, spirituality, and anything else that may come into play.
We have a long and rich tradition which tells us that we are not obligated to pursue excessively burdensome treatments that do not offer hope of improvement. We often see doctors and families pursuing very burdensome therapies that offer only a marginal hope of sustaining life with little to no hope of improvement in the person’s underlying condition.
(read all of “Serious Medical Decisions: Walking with Family and Friends“)