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« When Doctors Become Patients | Main | Talking About Death »

March 19, 2010


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Jane Brody wrote an amazingly personal article. It fit in well with a lecture I heard at the Simms Mann Center for Integrative Oncology at UCLA last week. Rabbi Wolpe, a lymphoma survivor himself, remarked that the urge to keep a patient alive at all costs is often to comfort those who are left behind rather than really to help the patient.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

One thought that may help in end-of-life situations is helping families perceive comfort-only care as being proactive, and not as "doing nothing" or "letting nature take its course." Choosing to stop futile treatments protects patients from avoidable suffering.

And Rabbi Wolpe's point is key: End-of-life care is primarily concerned with the patient and not the loved ones left behind.

With hope, Wendy


Here's an article about the medicalization of life that almost fits this discussion.,0,6629446.story

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Lisa,
Thanks for the link. Good piece. With hope, Wendy

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