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.  

Grey’s Anatomy

I know that some have already touched on Grey’s Anatomy being a serial killer of main characters, but in all honesty can it be called anything else? Since the show began over 6 deaths have occurred, just counting the main characters, and it depicts practically the same scenario each time.  Each time that a death occurs there are always two main characters and five out of six of them have all died due to an event.  Whether it is getting hit by a bus, a gun man, or a plane crash, each time Grey’s Anatomy accurately portrays society in the aftermath of a death.  Grief is a very real thing that frequently gets forgotten in TV shows, where you only have an hour a week with the characters, and very often by the next episode they are on some new conquest.  Grey’s anatomy stays with the characters the entire time that they are dealing with the deaths, some deaths take longer for some characters then others, which is very accurate in the psychology realm.  And many times, it portrays each of the characters in a therapist setting along with their daily lives, which is very rare to see in a television show.

Since beginning of this year, I began experiencing death more than the average person does in a couple years.  And something every time brought me back to Grey’s Anatomy.  How they acted, what they said, what they felt, and how they began to cope, both in healthy and unhealthy ways, were all they emotions and tendencies I started to feel.  It gave me a gateway to learn how to base my feelings and how to treat them, as I had just seen the characters go through it all in the season before.   In my opinion, it helped me understand that these feelings were normal and that there are healthy as well as unhealthy ways of dealing with them.

Grey’s anatomy demonstrates a large portrait of how society dies and slightly how others die but as for portraying with how society deals with it, it is mainly limited to how the American culture deals with death and dying.  Now while there are many cultures described in a death and dying scenario, it does not go as in depth as it does with the typical American society.   It also is limited, as I stated before, to using traumatic and freak events, although there are little instances of sicknesses causing death  that influence some of the characters, like Meredith and her mother.

Ultimately, I see Grey’s anatomy as trying to prove the view that America is a “death denying culture”.  The entire setting is in a hospital, which is probably the number one location that experiences death on the regular. But brings out the point that even these doctors, who you see experience death every day with their patients, have a hard time dealing with a death that is close to them.  You also see how the main characters react when another individual is almost dead or is “dead” for the short amount of time.  They don’t accept it and they try to revive the person as hard as they can.  So yes, I do believe that all of this supports that motion that America is a “death denying culture”.