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How doctors die, not like the rest of us !
Old 12-04-2011, 06:04 AM   #1
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How doctors die, not like the rest of us !

Interesting read.


How Doctors Die « Zócalo Public Square
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:35 AM   #2
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Why not add a short summary for the benefit of other members?
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:01 AM   #3
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It is a good article. The author, a doctor, explains that many doctors forgo active treatment for themselves in terminal situations. They see the futility and negative outcomes of aggressive treatment on a daily basis and opt out for themselves. Yet patients' miscommunications and the system's defaults drive toward over treatment. One of the most interesting things he asserts is that CPR is counterproductive:
"Many people think of CPR as a reliable lifesaver when, in fact, the results are usually poor. I’ve had hundreds of people brought to me in the emergency room after getting CPR. Exactly one, a healthy man who’d had no heart troubles (for those who want specifics, he had a “tension pneumothorax”), walked out of the hospital. If a patient suffers from severe illness, old age, or a terminal disease, the odds of a good outcome from CPR are infinitesimal, while the odds of suffering are overwhelming."
I am not sure of that. I think if I was to collapse today with a heart attack I would want DW to try some chest compressions. There are a lot of people walking around 10 - 20 years after surgery for heart problems. But, I have often thought that the best thing for an 80+ person passed out with a heart attack would be to sit quietly with them for an hour or two before calling it in.

DW and I have been dealing with the tendency to over respond with my FiL who is in late stage Alzheimers. We get calls about weekly from the night nurses that he has fallen and hit his head. On two occasions they were inclined to take him to a hospital even though we have clear instructions to the contrary. If he has a brain bleed, the last thing we want to do is treat it. But it is very hard to hear of accidents and the like and not overreact. He entered hospice on Friday (within the same facility) so it should be much easier for all parties to proceed rationally going forward.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
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If the approach to death and dying in the article appeals to you, I urge you to find out more about an organization called "Compassion and Choices". They lobby for changes to the laws that make this type of death difficult to achieve.

DW and I are in the process of having a revocable living trust and accompanying living wills prepared. We intend to document our intentions with regard to end of life care so that our children and our doctors know what we do and do not want.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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It is a good article. The author, a doctor, explains that many doctors forgo active treatment for themselves in terminal situations. They see the futility and negative outcomes of aggressive treatment on a daily basis and opt out for themselves. Yet patients' miscommunications and the system's defaults drive toward over treatment. One of the most interesting things he asserts is that CPR is counterproductive:
"Many people think of CPR as a reliable lifesaver when, in fact, the results are usually poor. I’ve had hundreds of people brought to me in the emergency room after getting CPR. Exactly one, a healthy man who’d had no heart troubles (for those who want specifics, he had a “tension pneumothorax”), walked out of the hospital. If a patient suffers from severe illness, old age, or a terminal disease, the odds of a good outcome from CPR are infinitesimal, while the odds of suffering are overwhelming."
I am not sure of that. I think if I was to collapse today with a heart attack I would want DW to try some chest compressions. There are a lot of people walking around 10 - 20 years after surgery for heart problems. But, I have often thought that the best thing for an 80+ person passed out with a heart attack would be to sit quietly with them for an hour or two before calling it in.

DW and I have been dealing with the tendency to over respond with my FiL who is in late stage Alzheimers. We get calls about weekly from the night nurses that he has fallen and hit his head. On two occasions they were inclined to take him to a hospital even though we have clear instructions to the contrary. If he has a brain bleed, the last thing we want to do is treat it. But it is very hard to hear of accidents and the like and not overreact. He entered hospice on Friday (within the same facility) so it should be much easier for all parties to proceed rationally going forward.
Thanks for providing the summary.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
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Sometimes a piece is so well written that to summarize it takes away from it. I think this article fits the bill.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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If the approach to death and dying in the article appeals to you, I urge you to find out more about an organization called "Compassion and Choices". They lobby for changes to the laws that make this type of death difficult to achieve.

DW and I are in the process of having a revocable living trust and accompanying living wills prepared. We intend to document our intentions with regard to end of life care so that our children and our doctors know what we do and do not want.
I want to have all the paperwork in place, but don't have any local friends or relatives.

Maybe I should have DNR tattooed on my chest.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #8
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Better spell it out if you do so they won't think the acronym stands for Department of Natural Resources...
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Sometimes a piece is so well written that to summarize it takes away from it. I think this article fits the bill.
Providing summaries is a courtesy to other members so they know the nature of a link before opening it. If a summary does not do justice to a well written article, a short description of the link will suffice. Community rules say
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This line, posted by donheff, was very helpful.

Quote:
The author, a doctor, explains that many doctors forgo active treatment for themselves in terminal situations.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Sometimes a piece is so well written that to summarize it takes away from it. I think this article fits the bill.

Kind of my way of thinking as well. The title does give the potential readers an idea of the subject content.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #11
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Living wills are only for end of life issues . They do not protect you from being resuscitated in ordinary circumstances . This article explains it .What is a Living Will? | AllLaw.com
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:32 AM   #12
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Maybe I should have DNR tattooed on my chest.

That's fine I guess, but I hope you'll also spring for the heart option.
That way if I see you flopping around on the floor of the mall, I can have a chuckle before I stroll off to the food court..





PS: I recently renewed my CPR, so I guess you could say I've got a bit of an itchy trigger finger..
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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I want to have all the paperwork in place, but don't have any local friends or relatives.

Maybe I should have DNR tattooed on my chest.
Ohio DNR law information link provided by Marietta Memorial Hospital

Ohio's DNR Law - Memorial Health System

Some pertinent terms and documents explained here:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...ues-29536.html
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #14
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I want to have all the paperwork in place, but don't have any local friends or relatives.

Maybe I should have DNR tattooed on my chest.
When my mother moved to an assisted living facility, they gave her a "Vial of Life."

It's a glass test tube about the size to hold a cigar, with screw top, attached to a magnet for putting on the refrigerator.

In the vial, you're supposed to put information about your medications (type, location, etc.), but many people also put in a copy of their advance medical directive (DNR, etc.).

Local EMTs and other first responders are trained to look for this when they are called in. I imagine any kind of highly noticeable placement of such instructions would work as well.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:46 PM   #15
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Kind of my way of thinking as well. The title does give the potential readers an idea of the subject content.
Sorry, but your simple "interesting read" comment and then the title "How Doctors Die" doesn't really tell me much about the subject content. The article could have been about how doctors have access to elite care, or go to international centers, or ignore treatment altogether, or smoke more than others, or commit suicide (not that any of the preceding are true).

I agree that DonHeff's summary was quite helpful.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #16
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Sorry, but your simple "interesting read" comment and then the title "How Doctors Die" doesn't really tell me much about the subject content. The article could have been about how doctors have access to elite care, or go to international centers, or ignore treatment altogether, or smoke more than others, or commit suicide (not that any of the preceding are true).
...or the most common terminal diseases affecting those with a Phd.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:01 PM   #17
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That's an excellent article; thanks for posting.

Most doctors would not want for themselves what some doctors do for their patients (often at the insistence of family members). We cringe when we hear "the relative from away is here". That's why it's very important to make your wishes known while you are compus mentis.

As it happens, the incidence of suicide in doctors is quite high, 1.4-2.3 times that in the general population. See below:

Medscape: Medscape Access
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:02 PM   #18
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I want to have all the paperwork in place, but don't have any local friends or relatives.

Maybe I should have DNR tattooed on my chest.
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Better spell it out if you do so they won't think the acronym stands for Department of Natural Resources...
...and also have it tattooed on your back in case you collapse face first.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:05 PM   #19
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #20
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Someone screwed up the subtitle:

How Doctors Die

It’s Not Like the Rest of Us, But It Should Be


It says the opposite of what the article is saying (the subtitle says doctors should die like us, but the article says that we should die like doctors).
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