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Iā€™m a doctor. Preparing you for death is as much a part of my job as saving lives.

Stashed in: #health, Awesome, Death, Medicine, Life Death Life Death, Healthcare!

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Too many doctors have been trained to think of death as FAILURE. Apparently very few of them speak to their patients about the subject, and very few patients have the correct paperwork to have their wishes expressed in a legally binding way.

I wonder if the community of doctors can have an honest discussion about this:

As doctors, we dedicate most of our time in medical school to learning about the physical body, how things can go wrong and how modern medicine can fix them.

During residency, we acquire methods for analyzing large amounts of data so that we can accurately assess, down to the minute, what is happening with our patients.

But we spend almost no time at all learning about illness in the context of our patients' lives, or how to heal people when modern medicine provides no cure. We are rarely schooled in how to break bad news compassionately, or how to sit in silence with a grieving family member, or even how to make recommendations for appropriate end-of-life care.

I have become disheartened by the number of patients who received invasive treatment in the final days and hours of life. So many spend their final moments hooked up to tubes and lines in the ICU, alarms beeping in the background, hidden away from the people who care about them. Modern medicine is always poised to offer another procedure or therapy for prolonging life, but it often does so without considering the quality of that life. How much suffering is five more weeks worth? Or five days, or five hours?

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