Saving Lives, Saving Dignity: A Unique End-of-Life Perspective From Two Emergency Physicians
by Alan Molk
Death is not a question of “if,” but a question of “how” and “when.”
The doctor approaches you and says, “Your mother is seriously ill and we have to put her on a ventilator to keep her alive. Do you want us to do everything?” Your answer is, of course, “Yes, I want you to do everything.” You think, “Why is he asking me this question?” You assume that by doing everything, your mother will be saved. What you may not realize, however, is that this decision may subject your loved one to a great deal of suffering without changing the outcome. When asked, most people say they would like to spend the last part of their life at home, surrounded by their loved ones, in a comfortable environment.
Modern medical technology allows us to prolong life, but often in a way that directly contradicts what a patient wants at the end of life. Allow Dr. Molk and Dr. Shapiro, two seasoned Emergency Physicians, to guide you through these crucial considerations:
- Quality of life
- Emotional and financial costs
- Potential benefits/disadvantages to the patient
- Impact on caregivers
- Covid-19-related issues
Let this book help you have important conversations with loved ones and physicians in order to make this decision intelligently. A good death is doable!