What Should Medicine Do When it Cannot Save Your Life?

After reading Letting Go by Atul Gawande, my perception of how to live the end of life completely changed.  Types of medication such as therapy and antibiotics are not always affected. Death can happen unexpectedly and sometimes medication is not always the best way to look at as a survival mechanism. It is hard to think that any type of medicine may not save a life but sometimes medication can make one’s survival rate longer. If medicine could not save my life, I would want medication to ease my pain and give me as much time as I can to make some last memories with those I love.

Sara Monopoli had no idea that death was around the corner. Before her discovery of cancer, she was healthy, had a wonderful husband and was going to give birth to a beautiful baby. Like any mother, she along with her family made sure that she would have any opportunity she can to prolong her life through medication. Reading her story made me think that Sara medicated herself to death. She had high hopes although her cancer was terminal. She seemed as if she was in denial the whole time. If I was in her shoes, I would have probably done the same thing. Not knowing about what hospice could do for her made me think of how unethical it was for the doctor to just keep encouraging her to have high hopes and assume that the medication was going to help her. The stories that described hospice care showed that hospice provided comfort and medication to relieve pain. Hospice creates a hospitable environment and the same amount of care the doctor gave her but with the intention that Sara was going to die. I believe that hospice would have given her family a reality check, give Sara a few more weeks to live, and a better bereavement for the family when she dies.

Medicine should do two things for a person who is dying and cannot be saved. Medicine should relieve any pain that a person has. When a person is in pain, they are unable to function and think about other things besides the pain. Relieving pain can give them the ability to socialize with loved ones and be comfortable. Medicine should also extend life as much as possible. Making memories with my family and friends is most important to me and others if they were going to die. Overall, medicine should not be looked at as a miracle life saver for those who are terminally ill. Providing comfort and making memories with loved ones is the best medicine for those who are dying. Image

The Vampire Phase

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Death can occur in anyone’s life naturally, unexpectedly and unforgivingly. Everyone will go through some type of death, whether it’s someone else’s or their own. There are many TV shows and movies that show death in different interpretations. One of the TV shows is The Vampire Diaries. This TV show is about two vampire brothers who create an epic adventure in the town of Mystic Falls. Unlike other TV shows, the Vampire Diaries shows a type of death in every single episode. One of the main deaths is of the main character, Elena Gilbert. Elena Gilbert is the love connection of both the vampire brothers. Elena death was caused by a car accident on the same bridge her parent’s car accident was on.  Usually on the Vampire Diaries, someone usually dies by an attack of a vampire. Unlike vampire attacks, Elena’s death was one of the few deaths that are very common in today’s society. Although the whole view of death in the show is unrealistic and completely fiction, Elena’s death is the most realistic and shows that death can happen unexpectedly at any time. In the case of Elena’s death, I believe that her death was clear and useful in understanding the causes of actual death in our society.

There are two ways that the Vampire Diaries influence and help us understand death.  One interpretation is that death is inevitable. In every episode, one of the main characters or extra cast dies. Death in the show happens in the most unexpected ways. Although these ways are irrational and fiction, it tells us that it can happen when you least expect it. Our society wishes of natural deaths. Most people in society don’t think about the unexpected causes of death. This TV series shows that unexpected deaths can happen in anyone’s life.

Another interpretation of the series may show society that we are scared of death. Even though there is death in every episode, there is also the creation of a vampire from the same death. Majority of the episodes show that when the characters die, they are bitten and turned into a vampire. In Elena Gilbert’s death, Damon (one of the brothers) gives her his blood so that she can stay alive and become a vampire. It is hard to believe that any person would want to die in society. Our denial of death is clear in the Vampire Diaries. As a society, we wish that our loved ones will stay alive with us always. If we all had the ability to turn people into vampires, our population will most likely increase.

The Vampire Diaries show a unique way of showing how people deal with death and dying. By making people into vampires after death tells us as a society that we are unable to cope well with people’s deaths. It also shows that in society, no one wants to go through the bereavement or pain even though death is inevitable. Overall, I believe that based on this show we are not a “death denying culture”. America is a culture of people who know that death eventually happens but does not want to face the outcome of it. 

 

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