Everybody is going to die. There are a lot of people in denial about this. Somehow people think that they can avoid death, like its optional.
A lot of physicians share the same mindset, and I don’t blame them, entirely.
Up until most recently, the North American medical school culture taught their medical students that death was the enemy. They were taught that they would be considered failures if they can’t cure the sick.
A hospice patient once told me that his cardiologist said to him, “Ralph, I’m going to fix your heart, but you have to promise me that you will die from something else.” He did, he died of kidney failure almost six months after he had a dual chamber pacemaker/defibrillator surgically placed in his eighty-nine year old chest.
MDs have been taught that they could be perceived as turning their backs on their patients if they can’t do more for them.
This is evidenced in part by the consistent offering of testing, treatments and procedures to the elderly that don’t necessarily save lives, or improve the quality of life, they can just delay death. Often at a huge expense, on many levels.
What do we do about this? We need to have more conversations with our physicians about death and dying!