Modern Medicine

Modern Medicine

Does today’s modern medicine make for a better ending? The answer to this question is far from concrete with infinite variables at the end of life. This article gave a raw perspective of people on their journey and its closure. It was not only eye-opening but unique to give these scenario’s through a doctor’s eyes. The doctor’s weight of delivering critical news to patients are rarely considered, not to mention how carefully they may have to manage sensitive situations with patients.
It is a matter of quality versus quantity and the almighty taboo topic of death. Modern medicine prolongs life, no one can deny that fact but is it a life you would want to live? When you ask someone how they want to die they typically say quick and painless, not the latter. The story of Sara Monopoli was a whirlwind of emotions. I admire her strength and fight through various chemotherapy treatments and new drug trials. Her will to live was very strong but unfortunately she had to succumb to the disease. It was a gut wrenching battle for herself and her family. At what point do you give in? Everyone wants to die in their sleep but if not are any of us courageous enough to say enough is enough. No one knows what their limit is or how they will feel until they are in a terminally ill situation. I must say reading this article was amazing but makes me hope I will have the strength to let myself go when the time comes.
On the other hand, you have the 29 year old young man with an inoperable brain tumor. He chose to go without treatment and to enjoy his time left with his family “untainted” if you will, like back in a period where people did die sooner than later. In comparison to Sara’s story, the young man’s choice was much more favorable on many accounts with an absence of medication. He didn’t witness himself deteriorate severely and neither did his family. Meanwhile, Sara’s husband Rich will never forget the groans of her last breaths before the ambulance came to take her away for her death.
I am an absolute proponent for fighting for your life but there reaches a point where maybe medicine isn’t the best option. Medicine should possibly save you life and keep you comfortable in the last days but the question the doctor posed which was an “aha” moment in the article was– “ What is dying anymore?” He didn’t know how to answer that question himself, nor would anyone else.

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3 thoughts on “Modern Medicine

  1. I agree with many of the aspects that you brought up in this blog. Medicine does in fact prolong life and this is not always necessarily for the better. I feel like it can help a person out but only if the illness hasn’t gotten severe yet. Often people try to hold on until the last minute, and this causes them to suffer only for longer while their family watches them deteriorate. I agree with you that a person should fight for their life as long as they can, but however there will eventually come a point where not even medicine can help, and quite often at this point, people might as well let nature take its course instead of suffering more.

  2. I agree to a certain extent. As I see many patients I work with take multiple medications and go through all types of treatment I some times just want to ask them is it worth it, but if I did that I would probably lose my job. I see so much suffering day to day and often wonder why any body would want to do this to them selves. I guess if the shoe were to be worn on the other foot maybe my thought process would change. Medicine may prolong life, but at what cost is the real question. Maybe they just want to see their loved ones just a little bit longer.

  3. You were right in saying that none of us knows exactly how we’d react if given the news that we had a terminal illness. Of course it makes sense to pick quality of life over quanitity but making that decision to stop treatment is not always clean cute. Reading articles like “Letting Go” gives us different prospectives on what medicine does for us today. The more we can all educate ourselves on the pros and cons of treatment the better prepared we’ll be if the time comes to make difficult end of life decisionss. Helping a patient die with peace and dignity should be medicines number one goal.

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