Both the Suen and Bermann families had to decide if they should
continue to provide full life support for their loved one. These video
clips document the intense and painful struggle these families went
through in making these difficult decisions.
The Suen family's 75-year-old uncle had been in good health and then
suffered a sudden, debilitating stroke. The Suen family had to decide:
do they send their uncle to a nursing home or stop all medical treatment
and allow their uncle to die? Which would their uncle have wanted?
Like so many families, the Suens had never asked these questions before,
leaving them with a painful decision to make.
Even when a patient has clearly told their family members about
their wishes and completed the necessary paperwork, those legal
documents cannot possibly cover every conceivable situation. Before
her heart surgery, Linda Bermann had been very clear about her wishes.
She did not want to be kept alive if there were no hope. But what
if there were some hope? Her daughter Karen went along with the
doctors and agreed to full life support, but worried if she was
violating her mother's wishes.
Diana Suen: Every physical part of him is falling apart. We are playing
God, and I can't go along with that too far.
Karen Bermann: My mother was a dancer. I don't think at 75, she
wants to have to start learning how to use her hand again.