comment natalie


Dealing with death can be traumatic and devasting for all involved and sometimes even lead one to question themselves. Bandman &Bandman (2002) states, ” Deciding what death is depends on one of two definitions: irreversible cessation of respiration and circulation or irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain ” (p. 260). I am an emergency room nurse so for me death is sometimes a daily occurrence. The hardest for me is when an infant or child dies. I guess I look at it as the beginning of life versus the person who has already lived a full life. When a child or infant dies in the emergency the entire staff becomes so overwhelmed with grief that they had to institute a debriefing where chaplains come and talk to the staff sometimes one on one because it is such a devastating time.

For me dealing with death on an almost daily basis has made me realize that it is inevitable and that preparations must be made and wishes would have to be made known to family and friends so when that time comes there will be no confusion or guilt as they make their decisions.

In my field of work, it is a constant dilemma for some families and sometimes a thug of war among them when it comes to making decisions regarding death and dying. I have seen families fall apart and even have physical fights regarding wishes of the dying person, therefore it is of utmost importance to have your wishes in writing and a trustworthy friend or family member placed in charge when one becomes incapable of making their own decisions.

Bandman, E. & Bandman, B. (2002). NURSING ETHICS through the life span (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall.

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