The Dilemma in the Use of Advanced Science in Intensive Care


The end of life process is quite a confusing and situation,especially for the family members. The Frontline film “End ofDeath” depicts the difficulties that come when making a decision onone’s life. The death process is not only heavy on the person dyingbut on the family and the ones that are left behind. Kubler developedthe five stages of grief that are evident in the movie. These stagescomprise of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance(Temel et al., 2010).

The documentary filmed at Mount Sinai medical center tries to depictthe modern science of medication as both a blessing and a curse. Whenstudents are terminally ill, they are taken in the intensive careunit. The treatment at this level keeps the patients alive amidstprofound misery and pain. This state can go on for months, weeks andleave a lot of physical, emotional and literal cost. The patient doesnot only feel the pain, but also the loved ones do not always feelthe emotional and the literal pain. The state often leaves the familymembers in a state of denial. This is depicted well in the film withRoberts’s wife. The wife is left with the burden to decide whatshould be done to her husband as she remains in the intensive care.

In the film terminal cancer patients appear navigating the difficultchoice between doing nothing and not doing something. In this casedoing nothing means that the patients will die and doing somethingmeans that the patients will remain in a state of pain as their lifeis lengthened. It is difficult to make a decision at this stage.Diana`s family depicts the state of bargain. They are not ready tolet her just die even though she never wanted to stay in that statefor long. Many of the family members of the sick people in theintensive care are never ready to accept the loss of the familymembers and will be ready to do anything to keep them alive eventhough it means great pain for the patients (Temel et al., 2010).

The stages of grief well developed in this story. Finally, some ofthe family members accepted the situation of their loved ones and letit go. After bargaining and going through depression, the last thingis to accept the situation and move on with life.


Temel,J., Greer, J., Muzikansky, A., Gallagher, E., Admane, S., &ampJackson, V. et al. (2010). Early Palliative Care for Patients withMetastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer.New England Journal ofMedicine, 363, 8, 733-742.