Then again, I watched as my mother-in-law was being intubated, and my wife was in the room too. We are both medical people, and we wanted to be there for her. However, what good did it do? It's just another memory that's never going to go away.
On the plus side, though, it provides us both with some reassurance that everything was done and done right. The doctors, nurses and respiratory therapist did everything they could, and they did it right. That alone provides some reassurance. Yet for someone whose not medical savvy, I can see no benefit from watching.
Although, I think it should not be up to the medical professionals to decide. If a family member wants to watch, so be it. I would, however, recommend that they not watch. I would kindly ask them to step out, although I would say that it's up to them. We're going to be doing some things to your loved one that you might not want to see.
I think McConnell says it best as she writes:
I will venture to guess that family members who would opt to watch imagine that it will be just like on TV — quick and clean with a happy ending. They need to be told it’s not like their favorite TV drama. It’s a long, drawn-out battle: blood, cracking bones, shouting, loud beeping, lots of needles and extreme roller-coaster-style energy — anger, joy, tears, smiles, terror, relief, frustration and exhaustion... The team does their absolute best to have a positive outcome and this might be the sole reason for a family member to watch. They’ll see the dedication and effort that went into the attempt to save a life.Plus, when the family is watching, codes tend to last a lot longer. More sweat is used in CPR and bagging, more doses of epinephrine are inserted into the patient, and this is often done despite the people running the code knowing what the result will be. Then, at some point, the doctor will say, "Well, does anyone else have any ideas? I'm open to suggestions." When you hear that, and no one has any answers, you know the outcome: "Okay, everyone can stop!"
Sorry to say, codes are not pretty. I would recommend loved ones not stick around, yet it's their decision -- as is the way in our great nation.