America’s health care system is broken, and one of the most heartbreaking areas where this plays out is when it comes to dying. These days, we don’t like to let people die, and we increase the suffering with this mindset that we should always use life saving measures regardless of the situation.
But these two pieces say it far better than I ever could. One perspective from a son, one from a doctor. Both fascinating and important works of journalism.
This piece that ran several weeks ago in New York Magazine summed up such an important issue: that living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living better, that using “life saving” measures on dying (and typically elderly) people can lead to misery for everyone involved. America must really wise up to this, and let people die respectful, compassionate deaths.
A Life Worth Ending
The era of medical miracles has created a new phase of aging, as far from living as it is from dying. A son’s plea to let his mother go.
And for a highly talented and well-respected surgeon’s perspective, from my favorite doctor-author, Dr. Atul Gawande:
What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?