Doctors will do anything to keep some patients alive, but they take a different approach when it comes to their own lives, according to USC Medical School’s Ken Murray.
Murray writes at Zócalo Public Square:
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).
When medical professionals suffer from old age or a terminal illnesses, instead of resorting to aggressive end-of-life treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, CPR, surgery, or life-support machines, many doctors will choose to die at home or rely on Hospice care, which focuses on making the sick and dying comfortable.
As for Murray, when the end is near, “There will be no heroics, and I will go gentle into that good night.”
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