What should Medicine do when it cannot save a life?

In today’s world, medicine can be compared to something of a lesser god. Medicine has the power to extend, shorten, and transform our lives. However, the use of medicine to prolong life, specifically to those who are irreversibly in their final stages of life is a controversial issue. It is hard to debate on what actions medical institutions should take on the dying because it is easy to deny death, even when it is right in front of you. However, I think medical facilities need to be more selfish and terminal patients and their families must be selfless during the final stages of their lives mainly because of the economic impacts of trying to save the already dying or the ones that are cannot be saved.

For example, in a documentary about the ethical issues for sustaining terminally ill alzheimer’s patients with feeding tubes while they slowly deteriorate, states that it cost about $72,000 for these patients in nursing homes. Even more shocking is that the money comes out of the pockets of insurance companies like Medicaid. This means that a huge amount of money that goes into the economy through taxes and other means is used for these patients that end up passing away a little after.


Patient last days spent in a hospital hooked up to a feeding tube

Of course, when someone with a terminal illness is admitted to a medical institution, doctors should give the patient all the viable medications, treatments, and care. However, doctors have been through a great number of the same situations to know when that patient is at that point of no return. I think that at the point, it should be required by law, that doctors inform their patients of their deteriorating situation, and stop all excessive treatment and shift their focus on their patient’s remaining quality of life. Although, a lot of people might be outraged and feel that the medical institution is giving up on them, but spending all that money on those patients severely weakens the economy and causes suffering for the living who need the money. It does not make sense to make the healthy living suffer just to minimally extend the life of the already dying. It is a difficult subject to touch on because no one wants to anyone else to die. However, terminally ill patients at their final stages need to let go to and try to enjoy of their last days, instead of having multiple procedures and being in terrible pain just to gain a little more time. In turn, the government would not have to cut spending on things such as education and foreign aid to poorer countries.




At one or several points during our lives, we ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of life?” Everyone wants to know what does the entire struggle and effort put into life really accounts for. The sad reality is everything achieved in life, including us, will eventually be erased and forgotten. The movie “The Great Gatsby” conveys this theme perfectly. It is a story of a young man, Mr. Gatsby, who went from rags to great riches, and in the middle of his journey, meets the love of his life, Daisy. However, situations separate them and he forever thinks about her until they coincidentally cross paths later in their adulthood. However, even though Daisy is already married, she pursues infidelity with her “soul mate.” After a turn of several events, Gatsby becomes the target of vengeful Daisy’s husband, and is gunned down.


The death of the main character in “The Great Gatsby” is tragic. Gatsby worked hard throughout his life in order to find happiness and be reunited with his love, Daisy. However, meeting her only leads to his ultimate demise. In addition, despite all his riches, only two people attend his funeral and his mansion fills with vines and becomes desolate. Although this situation is not ideal, in everyday life, death is highly associated with legacy. People are scared of being forgotten when they die. Everyone has a sense of helplessness about the aftermath of death. That is one of the reasons people believe in gods or higher powers.  Personally, when I first was introduced to Christianity, I practiced the religion because it gave me a sense of control about my future after death. I believed if I did everything in the Bible, after I die, I will have an afterlife that was filled with peace and perfect happiness. Although my views on Christianity have evolved, I still practice the faith because it sheds light on the afterlife.


No matter what we do while we are alive, we have absolutely no control after we die. These thoughts and concerns are universal and diverse. It shows that the human society denies death and deals with it by creating a legacy for themselves so they will somehow continue to live even though they have passed. However, there is a chance that no matter how hard we work, it will not matter and be appreciated in the end, just like all of Gatsby’s cars, mansions, and money. “The Great Gatsby” has an accurate and positive influence on the way society views and interprets death because it unveils the scary but real thoughts we all associate with death and it also harshly conveys the reality of life that we truly own nothing on earth. As the saying goes “All we are is dust in the wind.”