What Should Medicine do when it can’t Save Your Life


This short story was honestly very eye opening for me. I must confess that I am one of those people who do not even consider death in my day to day thinking. More alarmingly, this article, I perceive, has caused me to realize that I may not even consider death or dying when I hear about someone being diagnosed with a severe or terminal illness.

I find myself relating to Sara and her family who would have rather fought tooth-and-nail for a miracle cure rather than submitting oneself to an end of life care program. I believe that it isn’t even necessarily an intentional action to refuse to face the end of life, I feel almost as if it is not even offered as an option.

When someone you know or love is suddenly diagnosed with a severe illness we immediately wonder what kind of treatment they will undergo to make them better, instead of at times facing the reality of the brevity of their remaining life for what it is, or should be


When medicine cannot save your life its focus absolutely has to shift from cure to care. Before this class, and accounts similar to the ones in this short story, I was extremely naive about Hospice and end of life care. Because of this class I know realize that Hospice is in and of itself as much of a miracle as the rest of modern medicinal technology.

Instead of devaluing the remaining life that people have by giving them unproductive treatments that can only provide a false and empty hope, medicine should take the appropriate measures to not only care for the patient who is nearing the end of life, but it should also manage the psychological aspect of those that are left behind.

Perhaps by forcing people to discuss the tough issues that we ignorantly believe are better left unsaid we can make letting go of a loved one a process to be enjoyed, not mourned. This maybe the only way to treat a person’s final moments as a celebration instead of a funeral before death.


One thought on “What Should Medicine do when it can’t Save Your Life

  1. I love your post simply because of the fact that you are so honest about the fact that you would be just like Sara and her family. It is so easy for us to say, “If that were me, I would rather just die than suffer until the end.” However, if we were actually in that situation, our views would change dramatically. I’d say I wouldn’t want to live through all of that myself, but if it were a loved one in that position, I would be pushing that person to try everything possible to get better before even considering their death. But is there a point where it becomes selfish of us to keep being ignorant to the truth of what’s to come? Most of the time it is really hard to “celebrate” someone’s life/death because of what they went through during the process of their death, and it is unfortunate.

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