People die. And even if we do not think of it too much, even doctors die! But how do they treat the possibility of death?
It is surprising to see that when faced with a terminal illness, medical professionals, who know the limits of modern medicine, often opt out of life-prolonging treatment.
Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopaedist, found a lump in his stomach. He asked a surgeon to explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds – from five per cent to 15% – albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with his family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He received no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. (1, 2)
Doctors understand what many people do not: most life-prolonging treatments could be easily characterized as tortures that you wouldn’t like to happen even to your enemy. Doctors want to make sure that they will never experience, during their last moments on Earth, someone breaking their ribs in an attempt to resuscitate them with CPR (that’s what happens if CPR is done right). That no one will force tubes and drugs inside them that will make them incapable of living. It does not matter if the system or the lack of philosophy is to be blamed for the “over medication” or the “over treatment” of people with terminal illnesses.
Sticking too much in one thing (even if that is life itself) can lead to wrong paths. What many scientism-lovers think of “progress” is refuted by the very same professionals who practice it. That should make us think twice on what medicine really is. Helping others, loving one another, being compassionate, is what makes us humans. Doing all that and even more is what Progress should actually be.
Seeing our selfs too much like a machine may have exactly the result we expect: that we start thinking as machines too.
Sometimes the way forward, is to go backwards where we were all children and everything was pure and innocent.
Treat your self with respect. Live your life and stop watching House too much…
Related article: Why Medicine is NOT a pro-Science argument!