In the New York Times article “Fighting to Honor a Father’s Last Wish: To Die at Home”, we are introduced Ms. Stefanides and her dying father, Mr. Andrey, and their battle with the healthcare system. Unfortunately, Ms. Stefanides could not afford out-of-pocket home care, and though her father qualified for both Medicaid and Medicare, “the flow of money seemed to bypass what he actually wanted at the end of life”. In addition to emphasizing that Mr. Andrey couldn’t even be granted his basic wish to die at home, the article further talked about all the abuse that occurs at rehabilitation homes that care for the elderly. Ms. Stefanides recalled her own mother’s month-long abuse and eventual death in the hospice, and refused to subject her father to that kind of tragedy. Unfortunately her options were incredibly slim, and she felt that the doctors were “bullying her to disregard her father’s wishes”, and they basically wanted him sent somewhere else to die.
This incredibly touching and sad article sheds light on the difficult position many are faced with due to a failing healthcare and abusive system. One must wonder if all of this heartache for Ms. Stefanides and her father were worth it, and if his dying wish should’ve been granted in the first place. This brings up the issue of the doctor-patient relationship, and how invested a doctor should truly during a patient’s final years. And so I ask – Where do we draw the line to how much say a doctor has during a patient’s time for his/her death? Should the patient have full ownership over their body and where they will rest during their final time, or does the doctor know what is best?