Let’s talk about death. Before it’s too late, a doctor writes – Seattle Times

Well worth a read. This article touches on something that most medical professionals know, but most patients don’t.  My father was dying in a hospital of advanced COPD, and the doctors there seemed unwilling to tell him he was near the end. It took me stepping in and saying, “You mean that he will either die soon of heart or kidney failure?” The answer from the doc, in front of my dad, was, “Probably.”  I turned to my dad and said,” So dad, where do you want to die, here or at home?”  He made the choice to go home and he died there a couple of days later surrounded by loved ones and in peace.

This article is a very good teaching lesson about the dirty little secret of medicine in America. And we are trapped in a system that makes a lot of money on end of life procedures and often is the last place you’ll get good information to make a decision about whether you really want it or not.

Despite growing recognition that more care isn’t necessarily better care, particularly at the end of life, many Americans still receive an enormous dose of medicine in their final days. On average, patients make 29 visits to the doctor’s office in their last six months.


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