Introduction<br />Today, there are machines that will maintain a person breathing, blood flowing, and heart beating.<br />With these medical technology we can now keep people alive for weeks, months, and even years beyond the point at which they would have died "naturally". <br />For many people, this extra span of life may be a blessing, for they are able to live happy, productive lives because of advances in medical technology. <br />However, should we use technology to keep them alive?<br />
Life support includes medications and equipment used to keep people alive in medical situations. <br />These people that need life support have one or more failing organs or organ systems, and would not be able to survive without assistance. <br />The most common types of life support are for heart and blood pressure (cardiovascular system), kidney (renal system), and intestines (gastrointestinal system). <br />Artificial respiration is usually used to maintain the life a brain dead person. Although the machine is providing the body with oxygen, that person has technically die. This technology is essential used if the person is an organ donor then the organs must me supplied with oxygen for a successful transplant. <br />By using life support we can keep organs, from a technically dead person, in good condition to successfully transplant them to someone that needs it.<br />Life Support<br />
Cardiovascular System<br />The most common method to support patients with life-threatening abnormalities of the heart or blood vessels (cardiovascular system) is with medications. <br />Other medications used to stabilize the cardiovascular system in life-threatening situations include antihypertensives, used to lower severely high blood pressure when organs are suffering severe damage, such as during a stroke or heart attack.<br />The heart can be mechanically assisted to function normally. <br />Sometimes a temporary cardiac pacemaker must be placed when the heart's electrical system fails. <br />Artificial hearts can also be used, usually to maintain patients alive until they can receive a permanent heart transplant. <br />
Gastrointestinal System<br />Receiving artificial nutrition and hydration, medically instilled supplements, to stay alive. <br />Usually through nasogastric tubes for a limited period of time. <br />Many receive this therapy through central lines (long catheters passing into the larger veins), gastrostomyn tubes, or similar surgically placed devices.<br />
Renal System/Dialysis<br />Kidney dialysis machines, provide a means of survival for those who’s kidneys no longer function properly.<br />The kidneys are responsible for washing out he blood clean of the toxins. <br />There are two types of dialysis, peritoneal dialysis and Hemodialysis. <br />In peritoneal dialysis a special fluid is run into the abdominal cavity. It is then left in for several hours which draws out waste products. Lastly, the fluid is then drawn off and discarded. <br />On the other hand, Hemodialysis is the mostly used of both where blood is passed through a machine that removes toxins and replaces necessary elements. <br />Dialysis, “drains a patients blood, cleanse it, and returns it to the body at a prescribed rate, temperature, and chemical composition”(Malcolm). <br />Without dialysis, the human body would slowly cease to function properly due to the damaging toxins. <br />
Pros<br />As we all have heard, some people that have been in comas have gotten out of them. By using life support and such we can maintain these individuals alive until they come out coma.<br />They could stay alive long enough for a cure to be found.<br />The technology helps facilitate life.<br />
Cons to Using Technology<br />Coma patients are usually in an ICU or step down care unit, because of the medical condition or injury that caused the coma to occur. <br />How much goes into using these technology?<br />Doctor Ira Byock, said, “..it costs up to $10,000 a day to maintain someone in the intensive care unit”.<br />
My Ethical Stance<br />However, We should not keep them “alive” for too long.<br />Not only would it cost us money, but it would also be harder for us to say goodbye. <br />By using life support we can keep organs, in good condition to successfully transplant to one that truly needs it. <br />Dialysis and such technologies should still be used, but to those that truly want to live.<br />
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