October 19th, 2011


Geriatrics (week 6): End of Life Care and Choices

The relief of suffering and the cure of disease must be seen as twin obligations of a medical profession that is truly dedicated to the care of the sick. Physicians' failure to understand the nature of suffering can result in medical intervention that (though technically adequate) not only fails to relieve suffering but becomes a source of suffering itself.
--Eric J. Cassell

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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