Life Sustaining Treatment

It is not length of life, but depth of life - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life Sustaining Treatment

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When the Treatment of Last Resort Sends a Life Into Limbo

For doctors like me, the primary question should be not one of resources but instead our duty to the person in front of us. A bridge to nowhere means that we know, with no uncertainty, that this patient will not survive hospitalization. Acknowledging that fact, how do we minimize not just physical pain, but also emotional suffering?

On one hand, I wonder whether we should we leave the question of whether the machine stops and the timing of that to the patient and family‌. But deferring the decision of when to say enough to a devastated patient and beleaguered loved ones could itself be a kind of cruelty.

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Last Updated : Monday, November 28, 2022