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QotD: the Goal of Medicine

If medicine takes aim at death prevention, rather than at health and relief of suffering, if it regards every death as premature, as a failure of today's medicine - but avoidable by tomorrow's - then it is tacitly asserting that its true goal is bodily immortality... Physicians should try to keep their eyes on the main business, restoring and correcting what can be corrected and restored, always acknowledging that death will and must come, that health is a mortal good, and that as embodied beings we are fragile beings that must stop sooner or later, medicine or no medicine.
--Kass, L.R. in JAMA 1980.244:1947

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
bobby1933
Oct. 20th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
A great statement. As i approach the end of my life, i hope my healers will have that attitude.
liveonearth
Oct. 20th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Me too...
b_vainamoinen
Oct. 21st, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
When I worked in hospice, one of the most basic functions of our work with families was to remind them that NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE PERSON WHO IS DYING.

People die. It's a natural process. Hospice care and intervention are meant to control pain and other adverse symptoms to facilitate a dignified death.

With good hospice support, a death can be every bit as natural and beautiful as a birth.
liveonearth
Oct. 21st, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
Yes.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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