A thoughtful article regarding our modern attitudes to dying by Dr Craig Bowron, an internist (i.e. physician in internal medicine for us Down Under, or general medicine consultant)
Opting to try all forms of medical treatment and procedures to assuage this guilt is also emotional life insurance: When their loved one does die, family members can tell themselves, “We did everything we could for Mom.”
In my experience, this is a stronger inclination than the equally valid (and perhaps more honest) admission that “we sure put Dad through the wringer those last few months.”
I agree with Dr Bowron, that sometimes we may not consider the cost to the person (not the financial cost, other costs) of being able to say, “We did everything we could.”
What do you think? Does this apply where you are?
PS Thanks to Tegan, a social worker I work with, for pointing me to this article.
Important perspectives on the “demography of death and dying”!
Haven’t we all been there…. the half dozen comorbidities, the colleagues seeking to refer to our units (for me it was ICU), the family with differing takes on end of life for a loved one, the relative from out-of-town…..
In the end (sorry!) it is time for us all to talk more, and at every opportunity, about endoflife and the choices we have.
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