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Ethical issues on end of life care
Pages 3 (753 words)
The article, ‘Letting Go’ by Atul Gawande (2010) is highly pertinent and gives one huge insight into the maladies of modern healthcare system, especially in the cases of terminally ill patients. In the recent times, the ethical issues on end of life care have increasingly become much more important than being major concern for increasing Medicare bills or the inability of medicines to provide the palliative care that patients deserve in their last days of lives.
Apart from the huge Medicare expenses, the author rightly questions the efficacy of a system that deprives patients of the right to die in dignity and gives them hope when none exist. The case of Sara was exemplary in its treatment plan as the patient and her family needing wanted it ‘aggressively managed’ and doctors and surgeons willing to use experimental medications that were still in phase 1. When Sara was diagnosed with lung cancer, induced labor was used for early childbirth. Subsequently, she went through extensive medication, having chemotherapy which failed, the various experimental medications to which she did not respond and ultimately the pneumonia that which ultimately claimed her life and left her family bewildered as to how, despite all possible precautions, she had caught pneumonia. The family never could opt for palliative care by Hospice which could have made her last days more peaceful and may be less painful with reduced sufferings. Author has referred Harvard Researcher, Nicholas Christakis who had interviewed doctors of nearly five hundred terminally ill patients as to how long they expected their patients to survive and then followed the progress of the patients. Sixty three percent over-estimated the time. ...
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