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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

photo of the Suen family 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.

The Bermann Family


photo of the Bermann family 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.


Making the Difficult Decision

photo of the Suen family 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.


 


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