At what point does a person want medical help, and at what point is it just being forced on them??
Usually patients come in with some problem or another, we offer our services, hopefully providing a solution for that problem. BUT what about when we know full well that there is not all that much we can do to “save” this person. In my opinion patients should be aloud to make there own choice, especially in matters such as how they will be spending, what could be, the last months of their lives. Often in our need to help these people out I think we get lost in all the testing, re-testing and making absolutely sure they are going to die. We know full well that these tests are NOT fun. Patients believe that we are doing what is in there best interest, but I don’t really think that is the case. It seems to me that we are doing a lot of this just to cover our own asses (for lack of a better phrase), or because we need to beat the illness. I haven’t seen to many docs offer alternatives to things like chemotherapy in stage 4 cancer. Why don’t we help the person put things into perspective? Why are we not more familiar with alternative therapies? Would it be so bad if instead to chemo and radiation accompanied by vomiting and being exhausted, we offered more time spent with your family and friends, enjoying nature and doing things you just haven’t had time for??
Dying is a natural part of living, a fact it seems doctors often forget regardless of there profession. It is not a negative point on the scoreboard of doctoring. Help where you can, but at some point accept what is happening and help the patient and their family through it…that is also a vital part of the job. We don”t have all the answers and that’s ok. There are different ways of living, fighting, dying.
Just a thought ;)