http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/ideas/...

From the article:

"It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently."

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I don't know how I missed this article. I do think it's true for many of the doctors I have known, although not all.

Most of the hospitals in my area are Catholic. My health plan is secular. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was at one of the Catholic hospitals because the EMTs refused to take the longer trip to my health plan hospital, which was much further away. It was the right choice, because there was no way to know before evaluation, whether the pain was an abdominal aneurysm, atypical heart attack, or other cause like the cancer it turned out to be.

One I was diagnosed, I demanded transfer to Kaiser for whatever care would follow. I knew that was Kaiser policy, and Peacehealth - the Catholic hospital - could not hold me against my wishes. I was transferred and ultimately was very satisfied with most aspects of my care.

Many years ago I used to round at Peacehealth. I can't describe how mean many of the nurses were. It may have changed after that, I don't know, but I do not want to find out. I felt the Catholic hospital was more biased toward futile care, compared to the secular, for profit hospital, although that is a biased view on my part.

Even at my secular health plan, most of the doctors I have spoken to are biased against the Death with Dignity act and refuse to participate. I think that is about 99% of them. As of now, I know of no doctor in Southwest Washington who participates in that care. My health plan has doctors who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and a few atheists. before they retired, the only doctors who participated in the Death with Dignity act, were atheists.

I don't know about doctors practicing in this era. My paternal grandmother was a registered nurse and worked her entire life. My maternal grandmother was a midwife and she, too, worked until she was too old. My mother was a nurse. All three of them told me the old doctors worked very differently than modern ones. I don't know how doctors viewed death for themselves and what the cause of death was for them. What I can report, second hand, the old doctors they worked with provided a peaceful, easy death when age or disease or injury indicated death would be best for the patient. I don't know if the doctors consulted the patients and families or not. When Mom came to Spokane and worked in big hospitals or for physicians, she told me they did not assist patients in dying. She felt that was a mistake. 

Both of my grandmothers wanted death and asked for assistance in dying; When Dad and Mom died, they both wanted death. Even breathing was too difficult for them.  Assisted suicide was not legal for any of them. 

As for myself, I live in a state where it is legal to have assistance in suicide, and that is what I will choose. I am not ready yet!

 But it was against the law at that time.

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