Out of nowhere, a patient I recently met in my clinic told me, “If my heart stops, doctor, just let me go.”
“Why?” I asked him.
Without hesitating, he replied, “Because there are worse states than death.”
Advances in medical therapies, in addition to their immense benefits, have changed death to dying — from an instantaneous event to a long, drawn-out process. Death is preceded by years of disability, countless procedures and powerful medications. Only one in five patients is able to die at home. These days many patients fear what it takes to live more than death itself.
That may explain why this year, behind the noise of the presidential campaign, the right-to-die movement has made several big legislative advances.… Seguir leyendo »