How much should be done to save a life?

From the Tribune:

Here’s the thing about advance directives: They are guidelines. They do not have the force of law. This is a good thing. Despite what many of us think, we can’t truly anticipate how we will feel when we are about to die. Advance directives are especially valuable when someone has a terminal disease or a stroke, and they want to tell doctors what to do when they can no longer decide for themselves. But with a patient such as mine, who was alert despite her distress, it’s much more complicated. The human will to live is powerful. Most of the time when patients truly face death, they insist we do what we can to keep them alive.

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