“Letting Go” – Blog 2



“Letting Go” by Atul Gawande was a real eye opener and at times hard for me to read. The emotional roller coaster the people within this article went through is astounding to me. When one thinks of these situations in which a person is close to death or suffering from a terminal illness, we’re always hopeful that the person will have a miraculous recovery and be free of whatever disease they may have. Unfortunately, for most people suffering from terminal illnesses this is not the case. The story of Sara really stuck with me and was upsetting for a variety of reasons. First of all, she was young and just had a baby. She did everything the right way in her life, didn’t smoke, ate healthy and exercised but ends up with lung cancer. Its shocking to me that none of the treatment given to her ever really helped her out. Doing four rounds of chemotherapy as well as trying all types of different medications that all ended up being no good to her. I can imagine how her family must have been feeling, isn’t there anything else they can to do to help her? When asked the question what should medicine do when it cannot save your life is something I’ve thought about for a few weeks now. To most people medicine is thought of as a “life saver” or something that will make the illness “go away” but unfortunately this is not necessarily the case and sometimes on the contrary. The choice with medicine is to either take it in the hopes that a person can be cured, mended or maintained or let nature take its course. That decision will be different for every person. In my opinion medicine should be able to sustain your life and should make whatever aliment a person has more bearable. Isn’t that the point of medicine and medical technologies in the first place, to treat and mend sick people? The amount of pain and suffering that people go through on a daily basis when they have a terminal illness or a chronic disease is extremely saddening. Everyone knows that its inevitable they are going to die but it would be comforting to know that when nearing the end, medicine gave them a chance.


2 thoughts on ““Letting Go” – Blog 2

  1. You are completely right. You made a lot of good points. Also, people tend to forget that medicine is not a cure by any means. It is supposed to enhance quality of life; making every day life more tolerable in hopes the disease (such as cancer) will disappear. But in case the cancer does not go away, some type of medicine or treatment should be given to help the patient live better. Even if the patient is going to die. In the last few months or days of the patients life, they should be able to die in peace and not in suffering. It is owed to them.

  2. I agree with you completely when you say that it was unfair for Sara to get lung cancer. She did everything right, but still got cancer. I think it is good that the doctors try everything they can, giving the patient new medicines, treatments, and other things, but it is sad in a way that all of these medicines and treatments just kind of got her hopes up for no reason. This is a lot like reality because people everyday are diagnosed with cancer and have so many options. They feel they can beat the cancer, but in the end, none of the treatments worked. I do agree also when you say that the patient should get medicine to make them not in pain, but I do not think the doctors should push them to keep doing treatments in hopes that there is a miracle. I think that the doctors should respect a patient’s decision to end treatment, but still give them medicine for their pain during their last few months.

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