We have been advised all our lives not to make any major decisions when we are not in a calm emotional state. if you are angry or upset, it is not a good time to go out shopping for a major item, a car, a house etc. Because in this state of emotional upheaval we are not likely to make good rational decisions. We are in a state of emotional irrationality.
As healthcare workers we see this phenomenon often with families of terminal patients. No wonder they have a hard time coming to grips with the reality and making what everyone else would see as rational , reasonable decisions. Because they are in a state of emotional irrationality!!
Our responsibility as physicians now becomes to help them see reason, give them time, give them reasons as to why a certain choice is right. Help them see the impact that emotion is playing. Guide them gently to a rational decision so they ultimately are comfortable with their choice.
You will need patience, caring and compassion to carry this out.
We all can be in this emotional place just as easily one day.