How doctors choose to die: a peaceful, unmedicated death
Source: The Guardian
Though it’s not a common topic of discussion, the truth is that doctors die just like the rest of us. A recent essay by American doctor Ken Murray explained the manner in which medical experts themselves choose to die. One noteworthy trend is how little end-of-life medical treatment these doctors request.
Murray explains that because these doctors know so much about medicine, that they understand its limits. Because they have experienced first hand “futile care” at the end of their patients’ lives (in the form of surgeries and being filled with tubes, hooked to machines, and inundated with drugs), they are well aware of the financial costs of these measures as well as the “misery” they can inflict on the dying. Grieving families so often encourage the doctors serving their loved ones to “do everything” to extend a patient’s life, often unaware of the suffering that these measures can create.
Murray recommends a more clear discussion between patients’ families and doctors about what life-saving measures are “reasonable,” and being clear about the downsides of various procedures, including CPR.
From his own anecdotal observations, Murray explains that doctors choose to not over-treat themselves, preferring instead to die in peace at home with the necessary pain management treatment, or in the capable comfort provided by hospice care. For Murray, “death with dignity” should be an utmost priority for all patients facing the end of their days.