camcarlson

miscellaneous commentary

The Right to Die with Dignity Ctd

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A second follow-up on a previous post about dying with dignity is this thoughtful article about the reluctance of doctors to embrace end-of-life treatment for themselves:

It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.

On why doctors may recommend overtreatment for their patients:

It’s easy to find fault with both doctors and patients in such stories, but in many ways all the parties are simply victims of a larger system that encourages excessive treatment. In some unfortunate cases, doctors use the fee-for-service model to do everything they can, no matter how pointless, to make money. More commonly, though, doctors are fearful of litigation and do whatever they’re asked, with little feedback, to avoid getting in trouble.

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Written by camcarlson

March 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Posted in Politics

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