Medicine’s Final Threes

If I were in Sara’s shoes, I don’t know if I would have any, if at all hope in the healthcare system.  The problem with Sara’s case is that at this point quality of life and comfort are versing each other.  And yes, I know that they normally go hand in and hand but at for Sara quality of life is seeing her daughter grow as much as she can even if it’s just a matter of months.  Or would she rather allow death to come upon her and die comfortably?  These are all things that medicine allows us to do when it cannot save our lives. Medicine, overall, has three things it can do, if it cannot save our lives.

First, it should allow the patient to experience whatever life they do have left to the fullest.  In other words, this means not putting them in bed until their death.  If the patient wants to cliff dive, they should be able to get the ability to cliff dive (obviously the extent of this varies based upon patient). 

Secondly, the patient should also be super comfortable.  It is one thing to suffer horribly to death and then another to comfortably die.   Sara doesn’t want to be in pain holding her baby, she wants to hold and love the new baby without thinking of the pain she is in.

And Lastly, extend the life of the patient that is left.  While death may be an unchangeable variable, the length of it happening can always vary.  Can you imagine watching your infant grow just a few more months?  Those couple months mean the difference between holding her head up and walking.  In Sara’s case,  she wants to be able to change, hold, love her baby, and watch her grow, all of which require the previous help of the health care system in what it has left to help her with.  They might not be able to cure her to a full life, but it can help her live the rest of what she does have.  


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