Medicine at EOL

Death is inevitable, it will come to all of us, some sooner than later but we will all die one day or another. Over the past few hundred centuries humans have been lucky enough to have reached a level of medical advancement that has allowed us to prolong the inevitable; but that is all it has done, prolong it, give us some more time even if it is at the cost of a peaceful death. Time does come where medicine cannot and will not be able to save your life, at which point we should all take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You will die, but do you want to die as comfortable as possible around your loved ones or in pain with several tubes inserted into you. The article by Atul Gawande was heartbreaking with all those stories of people with their impending deaths around the corner. Most patients chose hospice care over being in a hospital because they wanted to end their lives with as little pain and as much peace and happiness as possible. I am not saying that everyone should choose hospice care because some people might just be genuinely happier if they die fighting, knowing that they never gave up but that is something that should be completely up to the patient. It is my life, my death is around the corner and as a consenting adult I should be able to decide how I want to spend my last few moments (knowing me, in bed eating ice cream, watching TV, with my loved ones around me). It might be a selfish decision but as family, they should understand.  Below is a cartoon of what I felt some of the people in the short story felt like at times, they were tired because they were sick and they were even sicker because they were tired. Life sustaining treatment just makes things worse at times; hospice or palliative care should be the answer when medicine can no longer save your life.

cartoon_sick

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One thought on “Medicine at EOL

  1. Medicine has advanced tremendously. It gives human beings the opportunity to live longer, and to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. Even though most people know that medicine always has side effects, they still choose treatments over hospice care or just dying in peace. Either way, patients should be able to choose: if they want to go with treatments and fight until they die, or if they want to just die peacefully maybe through hospice care. I do agree that it should be completely the patient’s choice, and that family members should support their decision. End of life decisions will never be easy, but it is something that many are going through.

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