“Mission creep doesn’t benefit patients at the end of life” (Washington Post)

This compelling story in today’s Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) is about a physician having a conversation with his physician father, age 88. Here’s an excerpt:

“We were discussing treatment options promoted by his primary-care physician and other doctors for an aortic aneurysm… He turned to me and asked, ‘Why would I want to fix something that is going to carry me away the way I want to go?’ … With his unexpected question, he directly challenged the assumption that a doctor’s advice is always in a patient’s best interest, particularly regarding a medical problem late in life. … Furthermore, Dad was making an important distinction, between care at the end of life (in this case, palliative care for pain) and treatment (aneurysm repair). He was also suggesting a natural exit strategy.”

Here’s a link to the full article:


Health & Science
Mission creep doesn’t benefit patients at the end of life
By Samuel Harrington
The Washington Post
August 22, 2016