The Last Word On The Last Breath Analysis

In a short article, “The Last Word on the Last Breath” by Jan Hoffman, published by The New York Times, the author discusses the statistics of do not resuscitate, CPR, and the fights families and doctors face while up against this therapeutic technique. The author is discussing the topic on how do not resuscitate has been an issue for several years. Hoffman explains the effects with do not resuscitate and the effects that come with CPR. Discussing whether the decision should be left up to the doctor’s discretion or the closest family member to the patient. Despite the fact that relatives should have the right to declare whether or not a family member stays alive, Hoffman argues that resuscitation for a patient in critical condition makes matters …show more content…
Why couldn’t we have let the patient die in peace?” (Hoffman, 2006, p.1) By using pathos and imagery to evoke sadness from the reader, the author makes one feel as if it is their family member having CPR. In extreme cases like a patient going into cardiac arrest, it is challenging to determine who should have the final say whether one should do CPR on the dying patient. According to the law, the family has control to decide, however, the article uses medical opinions to sway the reader’s opinion. “Many doctors believe that their medical judgment about CPR will be useful in each patient’s case, and their knowledge of the havoc it can wreak on a dying body, should prevail,” says Hoffman (Hoffman, 2009, P. 2). Families believe in miracles, but most miracles in which they believe only happen on medical television shows, often not proved by any studies. The various discussions over who gets the final decision is the fuel for many debates, over not only the rights of patients but also the loved ones involved. It can even raise legal issues. “New York is one of the few states with a law that directly address resuscitation orders,” (Hoffman, 2009, p. 3) even if the doctor believes the patient should not have a do not resuscitate, the family ultimately has the final say. Legal issues have been a huge discussion involving the D.N.R order. There …show more content…
In cases such as when a patient is ill and elderly patients it is often the opposite of helpful. Hoffman states, “The widespread misunderstanding about CPR itself can make a family’s agony worse,” (Hoffman, 2006, p. 5). CPR can even be misleading in the medical field; it is not as widely spread as it should be. Nine times out of ten it will be more harmful than helpful. Studies show that the success rate CPR for hospitalized patients is about 15 percent, however, when people are of watching medical based T.V shows such as Grey Anatomy, Private Practice, Boston EMS, these T.V shows portray that CPR survival was 66 percent. The world of Hollywood is essentially giving false hope to families that get into these horrid situations. When you are not exactly sure what CPR can do to a very ill elder or a patient going into cardiac arrest, it can confuse a lot of families in believing it can do better than

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