This recent New York Times article is about a new book “The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life,” by Ira Byock, MD. The author of the short review says: “What makes Dr. Byock’s book particularly valuable is the chance to eavesdrop on the doctors we’re often quick to blame. He tells what it’s like on the other end of the stethoscope.” The reviewer is “most appreciative of [Dr. Byock’s] front-line insights into the way medicine operates at the end of life.”
One take-away from this book must be that we all need to have advance directives or we may suffer the fate described of the family matriarch in the ICU whose niece objects to stopping all treatment as “letting her die [when] only God can take a life.” Apparently most Americans do not have advance directives.
Here’s a link to the full article:
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The New York Times
By Paula Span
March 20, 2012, 4:25 PM