When the time of death becomes our choice

Reuters has a substantial article reminding us of the dilemmas we face in a world where medicine can extend “life” in quotes:

“The ability of medicine to keep people alive for such long periods of time — despite their best efforts to die — has changed the way people perceive the end of life,” said Susan desJardins, a pediatric cardiologist and member of the ethics committee at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

“Our hospital attempted a few years ago to write a policy on futility,” Mary Ruckdeschel, a social worker from Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said at the Georgetown course.

“We were never able to do this because people could not agree on the definition of futility.”

Read it all here.

If you missed the fine report on hospital chaplains in the New York Times earlier this week, check it out here.

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