Letting Go

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There is always going to be that constant debate on “what should medicine do when it can’t save your life”, and the answer should be as clear as day. It appears that doctor’s act upon what is morally and ethically right by them but not what is right by the patient. What is the right thing to do? What is the wrong thing? These are constant questions that are asked on a daily basis and no one ever seems to have the answers to them.  Why can’t we find a common answer to death? Why can’t doctors realize that after trying so many times with different medicines that they should just allow life to take its course?

We as humans are so wrapped up on trying to fix things and we don’t realize that some things just can’t be fixed. Death is inevitable. It occurs every minute of every hour of everyday life. There really isn’t much we can do to stop death. You can help by reducing the pain, but you can’t control who is going to die or who isn’t.  if a patient has cancer and you’ve tried everything you could possibly think of to decrease the tumor or even try saving their life and it doesn’t work, it shouldn’t be so difficult for the doctor to be upfront and honest with the patient and just say “we have tried everything, at this point there is nothing else left to do but try reducing the pain and allowing time to take its course.” I would much rather hear the truth than be presented with a lie.

If the cancer has spread, tell me. If the medicine won’t work, then don’t use it. Medicine isn’t just about saving lives, it’s also about money. Researchers spend so much of their time trying to find cures, trying to find ways to stop cancer from progressing that the doctors push out this medicine onto other patients. All this is doing is making the family and patients spend unnecessary money in which they could be spending preparing for their loved one’s death. It’s unfair for the patients to have false hope when instead they could be spending their valuable time preparing for the inevitable. Dying is easy, but saying goodbye, fixing relationships that may have been broken, and preparing for their death that’s what is most important. 

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2 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. I really liked the quote you had in the beginning! “Life is pleasant, Death is peaceful, it’s the transition that’s troublesome.” I like that a lot because so many times at the end of life when someone finally passes on after a long fight, you hear people say “their struggle is over.” Or “they are at peace now.” And I feel like that is so true, and this quote really just shows that. The end of the post though I would have to disagree with just a bit, I feel like searching and spending so much money on a cure is what scientists have to do. A cure won’t make itself. As far as it goes with choosing not to take it I feel as though that is an individual decision. My motto about things like this is to “Always assume for the worst but hope for the best.” I feel like no matter what treatment that person is going through, if they choose to go through it and fight then that is completely up to them. I have a friend from high school who was diagnosed with Lymphoma (Cancer of the Lung) freshman year. She struggled and fought and always remained so positive the whole entire time. She went through surgery, after surgery, and chemotherapy too. She’s had so many things go wrong that even after quitting school, beating the cancer, starting school, having more problems to quitting and starting again. She still finished high school and graduated with her class on time. And I truly believe that without all of these risky chemos and surgeries that she probably wouldn’t still be here. So I believe as long as the person is willing they can be useful.

  2. I think that everyone is practically unanimous in our sentiments, if medicine can’t cure me, then it needs to simply care for me. I couldn’t agree more with the notion that we as humans are always trying to fix things, and it is the things in life that are unfixable that cause the most amount of distress in life. The fact that we have to be lied to and subjected to hopeless treatments simply to justify a doctor’s efforts or good name, or inability to break tough news is evidence of our inability to accept life’s unfixable dilemmas. I would never condone lying or misleading in the medical field, however, I do believe that there has to be a great deal of difficulty for a doctor to tell family members and the terminally ill that they have done all that they can do and that there are no other options. It is a far too frequent reaction in our culture to blame death on the inability of the medicine, or medical providers, or technology. As unfair as it is for them to not understand that death is something that happens, it is obviously equally unfair for the doctor to be misleading.

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