Dying is a 5-Letter Word: 39 Minutes on Why Americans' "Dying Does Not Go Well"

From NPR's Fresh Air series: "The Ethical Way to Heal American Health Care"

Podcast with Dr. Robert Martenson, author of "A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High Tech Era"


Dr. Martenson on default care in the US "biomedical industrial complex":

"One must keep doing things unless the patient or the patient's surrogate tells you in advance to not do things...things keep happening...aggressive interventions..."

"Nobody stands back and says 'This patient is dying."

Of course they don't, Dr. Martenson. 

Dying is a 5-letter word. 

I want my doctors to talk with me about living. To discuss this fully, and develop a participatory, choice-aware plan of care that lets me opt in or out, we *must* talk about dying.

It's the height of ridiculousness that we make most of our decisions in life only after fearfully stepping around the conversation about death.

Healthcare will be on the road to recovery when we can say this to each other, as a part of the patient-provider care conversation...

"There are only two certainties in this life - birth, and death. Since you're here today, one has already happened, and the other is waiting. Now - let's talk about how you want to live (well) until the other time comes."

Posted via web from Jen's posterous

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