Perhaps it’s modern medicine that has led people to falsely believe that everything is treatable and even curable, and in turn, no one gives death – and all the arrangements it entails – the attention it deserves, not prior to death anyway. With Elizabeth Edwards’ passing, I hope patients everywhere can find some lessons in this event and seriously consider their health care choices.
With the far right’s artificial national hysteria over end-of-life counseling out of the limelight, I sincerely hope that patients are encouraged to consult with their health care providers and their families, think about their illness(es) realistically and make detailed plans for the inevitable. It’s not productive at all for family members to discuss argue about end-of-life options when we’re arriving on scene or when they’re screaming in the ED lobby for help.
I’ve written about end-of-life issues many times, as it is very painful to watch every single time it is neglected before it’s too late: