What should medicine do when it cannot save your life?

The answer to the question “what should  medicine do when it cannot save your life?” is in my opinion is highly individualized. I do not believe there is one correct path that medicine should take when someone inevitably is going to die. Each person reacts to treatments and medicines differently so there cannot be one specific answer to how a person’s illness can be handled. Not to mention the fact that there are so many different illnesses that have different pathology. Those in the medical field cannot make the decision alone. The medical field has a responsiblity to do what is best for their patient but sometimes what they have to offer is just not enough. The medical field I believe does the best of their ability to do what they can for people with the information that they have about the particular illness that they are treating. I believe that while the medical field does what they can for people that the patient themselves also have a responsibility to do what is best for themselves and their loved ones. This personalized decision that the patient makes is difficult in all situations whether the treatment works or doesn’t.

The story of Sara’s cancer is a very good example of how individualized medical decision can be. Sara’s family had to decide how to proceed not only in treating the cancer but the attitude they had about treatment and what impact each decision was going to have on their infant daughter. I feel that Sara’s story is one of bravery. She chose to endure treatments that were harsh on her body that would hopefully give her more time with her daughter. Sara and her husband had a good outlook on the situation by not focusing on the prognosis and how bad the statistics could be but by focusing on being positive and trying to have a good outlook for their daughter. I feel very deeply for the struggle this family had to go through with due to my own families personal experiance that was in a way very similar to the story of Sara. My cousin Kelli, also diagnosed with cancer while pregnant endured a struggle with treatments that would not free her body from cancer but prolong the life she had left so she could spend the remainder of her days with her son Carter. She lived a total of 14 months after her diagnosis and was able to see her son turn one. 

These stories of cancer show that however great the treatment may be sometimes it doesn’t align with their bodies or the pathology of the illness. The medical field in these two instances I believe did the best they could possibly offer these two women. Their efforts to save them from the illness was just met with an opponent to which they were unable to defeat with the technology provided to them. Medicine is in a a unique position to take each and every case by specific case to decide how to proceed. As highly advanced as our medicine has come I do not believe that there will come a day when medicine can completely irradicate every illness and stop inevitable death. 


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