In the article “Letting Go” the author Atul Gawande, talks about medicine and the effects that it may or may not have on a patients condition, whether or not we need to cherish the quality of life over the quantity of years lived, and the costs that patients incur to obtain the possibility of living a few extra days, months or maybe even a year. At what point do we accept that the treatment provided is no longer working, instead of making it better it makes it worse by giving a patient and their family false hopes. Even with all the technology advancements certain illnesses and medications may work effectively on one patient as opposed to the way in which it works on another.
When a patient is diagnosed with a serious illness such as Cancer, or HIV the first couple of questions that come to mind are, How long do i have to live ? Is there a cure ? How effective is the treatment ? What are the costs ? Is there a possibility of relapse ? And in all honesty there is no correct answer for either one of these questions. A Doctor can never determine how long one has to live, nor can he guarantee that the medication or treatment provided assures your recovery.
Doctors address patients concerns ethically which may not always be the best way. Consistent offering of medication trials to ill patients with the hope that this particular medication will be more successful than the one previously given, this may seem like the right thing to do, but when you put yourself in the patients position its harder to accept and comprehend.
Death should not be something that is prolonged, especially if a person is in suffering, physically and emotionally. When it comes to death we can only be financially prepared. It’s never the right time to part with a loved one, and as much as we try to keep them here if it’s their time to go it’s their time to go. Acceptance is key …
The only guarantee in life is death !