When Medicine Fails

When Medicine Fails

I found this article incredibly moving and at times hard to read. It is never easy to deal with a disease especially one that seems to only get worse the harder you fight. The fact of the matter is; there is still so much about medicine that we still don’t know. There are so many theories and experimental therapies, yet each person’s body will react differently. What will work for one person will not always work for another with the same condition. For doctors this has to be a very frustrating and stressful process. For the patient it must be extremely depressing to have to go through so much pain and misery to find out the therapies didn’t work.
The unfortunate truth is that doctors will be faced with situations when medicine and treatment seem to be having no effect on the patient’s disease. In times like these, it is important to sit the family down and have a serious discussion on how to continue. Especially when dealing with a disease like cancer, many of the treatments are incredibly painful and uncomfortable for the patient. They experience symptoms like cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are not what someone should have to experience on top of their already existing cancer. For patients like this, medicine should be used to make their last months on this earth as comfortable as possible.
For many families this reality will be hard to grasp. To most this will seem like they are giving up the fight. They feel that they should continue to fight to the very end. The doctor needs to gently explain the severity of the situation and that there is no treatment that has a chance of curing the disease and can only prolong the inevitable at the very most. Some battles cannot be won and sometimes we have to except our losses and deal with the cold hard facts.
The reason this specific article was so hard for me to read and why I have such a strong opinion on the subject is that five years ago I lost my grandfather to the same lung cancer. I watched one of the strongest men I knew fight a battle he would never win. We pushed him to try treatment after treatment when we should have let him spend his last months as comfortable as possible. To conclude, although we do not have the medicine and technology to cure every disease, we do have the ability to tell when a disease has the possibility of being cured or not. With this knowledge we should make the responsible decision.


3 thoughts on “When Medicine Fails

  1. I agree completely on the variability within medicine’s ability to treat patients. Every patient reacts in a different manner to certain medications and therapeutics. Due to this it can be difficult at times to develop plans of action. Once medicine can no longer cure I believe it should bring up the quality of life in the remainder that the person has. I also agree that certain battles can not be won, not every medical issue diagnosed can actually be treated by what we currently have in modern medicine.

  2. I completely agree with you that there is still so much about medicine we don’t know yet. This is why treatment in medicine is so difficult; every person is different and has different needs. In a way, medicine is an ongoing experiment. Each individual requires different doses, or different forms of treatment depending on the situation. Sadly, medicine does not always help the patient. Sometimes, the medicine has no effect on the patient. In the article, the woman has to take on many different methods of treatment after the previous began to fail. This is common in treatment of diseases. The doctors are almost using a trial and error method of treatment. Once one medication begins to fail, they prescribe a different form. I have seen this multiple times with my grandmother. She has an incurable disease with no treatment. Even though there is no medical treatment for her illness, she is still taking multiple medications to ease the pain and to be more comfortable in her daily life.

  3. I for one agree, like many others, that death, especially like the one used in the article, are very difficult to read and understand. I think what you said about that there’s so much we don’t know about medicine is very easy to expand upon. How many times have we actually thought about it? It’s incredible that if you think about the fact that the medicine we actually have today might just be a very small percentage of treatment that may be available a hundred years from now. For all we know cancer, diabetes and heart disease might be something you go to the doctor once a year and they take care of. It just makes you think how much is really left out there to discover and figure out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s