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How Doctors Die

By Patrick follow Patrick   2021 Apr 4, 8:35am 108 views   3 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


What’s unusual about medical professionals is not how much treatment they get when faced with a terminal illness—but how little.

Of course, doctors don’t want to die; they want to live. But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits. And they know enough about death to know what all people fear most: dying in pain and dying alone. They’ve talked about this with their families. They want to be sure, when the time comes, that no heroic measures will happen—that they will never experience, during their last moments on earth, someone breaking their ribs in an attempt to resuscitate them with CPR (that’s what happens if CPR is done right).

Almost all medical professionals have seen too much of what we call “futile care” being performed on people. That’s when doctors bring the cutting edge of technology to bear on a grievously ill person near the end of life. The patient will get cut open, perforated with tubes, hooked up to machines, and assaulted with drugs. All of this occurs in the Intensive Care Unit at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a day. What it buys is misery we would not inflict on a terrorist. I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.” They mean it. Some medical personnel wear medallions stamped “NO CODE” to tell physicians not to perform CPR on them. I have even seen it as a tattoo.
1   Onvacation   ignore (6)   2021 Apr 4, 9:21am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

" primum non nocere,"

First, do no harm.
2   MMR   ignore (0)   2021 Apr 4, 10:57am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Patrick says
how much treatment they get when faced with a terminal illness—but how little.

-exactly; no one who knows the limits of medicine wants to be resuscitated when faced with a terminal condition. Its very rare that resuscitation even works in the hospital, especially with older pts with multiple comorbidities.

most lay people don't know what spending last days in the hospital is like; doctors do, and do the best they can to avoid being there if at all possible.

-most 'futile care' is performed on people who don't have a durable power of attorney or living will and/or have surrogates who don't agree on an appropriate course of action.

-usually the family members who live far away and are not engaged in the parents lives are the ones who feel guilty and insist that their parents/loved ones are 'full code' in the midst of a terminal illness or illness with poor prognosis
3   Ceffer   ignore (6)   2021 Apr 4, 11:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Doctors don't have to apply that interface of ooga booga medicine man superstition and social sanction to themselves. A lot of medical torture is legally and socially mandated to keep everybody off the guilt and finger pointing hook. Also, twenty percent of medical bucks go to 'end of life' treatments, for people who are terminal and have no hope of returning to productive or meaningful lives, so it is a big industry.

So, doctors will soak Medicare and the payment modalities to maintain end stage conditions, but won't allow themselves to be placed in those pits of despair and suffering.

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