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Very good and thought-provoking article (long)...


Oct 21, 2006
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Very interesting article in the New Yorker, about aggressive treatment versus hospice/palliative care for the terminally ill.

Hospice medical care for dying patients : The New Yorker

Please read it if you have time, and let me know your thoughts.

I'm sure many conservatives will say this is merely a case of the liberal media trying to prepare the populace for Obama's "death panels". :roll:

But it's not. Palliative care for the terminally ill is so clearly compassionate, pragmatic, logical, and sensible, that I don't see how anyone could argue for the alternative.
I'm sad for all the millions of people over the past few decades whose inevitable deaths were protracted, gruesome, undignified and horrible because they felt they were failing their loved ones and dishonoring themselves by "giving up" and not begging for or demanding one ineffective treatment after another, long after their prognosis is terminal.
I feel angry at doctors, who will not say no to these patients and their families, even when they are 100% certain that further aggressive treatment will not help and may hurt, shortening their lives and causing needless suffering.

The verdict is now in: stopping aggressive treatment and turning to palliative care actually prolongs the lives of terminal patients, often by several months.
And the difference it makes in their quality of life is immeasurable.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with going softly into that good night.
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