A silly little blog for me to drop the excrement of my mind.
Published on July 12, 2005 By BlueDev In Life Journals
"A time to live, and a time to die"

Death fascinates us. Every art form has obsessed over the subject. Entire religions and belief systems center around the concept of death.

But we run from it at every turn.

Not everyone, of course. Some spend their entire lives running headlong toward it, often unwittingly. But it is inevitable. It will come for us all, whether we care or not, whether we are prepared or not. And lately I have seen more than my fair share.

When your life centers around sickness you would think death would just be sort of a given. But it isn't. In fact I honestly think that you can get an even more distorted perspective on death, doing what I do. I believe it is born out of, time after time, seeing death be pushed to the side. You start to forget how real death is when, in spite of every scientific cell in my body telling me it is time for someone to die, that their physical shell simply cannot support life anymore, patients suddenly 'get better'.

And that is what we do, after all. We hold off death. Sometimes even when we probably shouldn't.

I have learned a lot lately about what it means to 'do no harm'. Sometimes you need to recognize that technology and knowledge have reached their impressive limits. Sometimes you need to do your best to help a patient understand that when you say there is nothing more we can do, that you truly mean it.

That it is true doesn't make it any easier. But I am really starting to learn that being a good doctor doesn't mean you treat a disease. It means you treat a person. And sometimes the best treatment is a hand on a shoulder, a sincere, kind word, and a final goodbye."

Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 12, 2005
~But I am really starting to learn that being a good doctor doesn't mean you treat a disease. It means you treat a person. And sometimes the best treatment is a hand on a shoulder, a sincere, kind word, and a final goodbye."~

Very nicely said, blue Dev...despite many ppl complaining that doctors become too desensitized, there are indeed doctors with heart out there.
on Jul 12, 2005
But I am really starting to learn that being a good doctor doesn't mean you treat a disease. It means you treat a person. And sometimes the best treatment is a hand on a shoulder, a sincere, kind word, and a final goodbye."~


--But yet that doctor would have been associated with his death, like a murder...don't know if a perons conscience could handle that...
on Jul 12, 2005
One of my paramedic instructors described our jobs like this...

"If it time for someone to die nothing we do will prevent that from happening. We are there in case it isn't their time to go. ;~D

Yes, too many healthcare professionals forget that the job is about the patient, not about the signs, symptoms, tests or the "Machine the Goes 'Ping'".
on Jul 12, 2005
Good article. The title reminds me of the line from Blade Runner, it's said a couple of times, by Leon and Roy, if not others. That movie says a lot about death as well.
on Jul 12, 2005
The title reminds me of an old Klingon saying. "Today is a good day to die". But your right sir. Some doctors just forget it's all about us the patients. Not all doctors are that way and you can tell when you have found one that remembers.
on Jul 13, 2005
Wasn't that a souix saying before it was co-opted by Roddenberry?
on Jul 13, 2005

Wasn't that a souix saying before it was co-opted by Roddenberry?


Could be....I really don't know. Anyone else have a clue?
on Jul 13, 2005
Whoa, you're back

I kind of felt that way when I was on medicine - seemed like half my patients were train wrecks... and it really hits you when you look back on Browser after the rotation is over and you randomly find out that one of your favorite long-term patients is dead...

There's a lot to be said for hospice...

- S
on Jul 13, 2005
But yet that doctor would have been associated with his death, like a murder...don't know if a perons conscience could handle that...


Hmm, I find that to be an exceedingly morbid and unhealthy view of death. That is, of course, just my opinion. But since this is my blog I think I will opine all I want.

I find the thought of forcing 'life-saving' medicine into a patient that makes them vomit everything they eat for the entire time they are taking the medicine, that makes them feel so drained that they are basically vegetables, that prevents them from having any meaningful interaction with their families just so they can 'live' for a couple more months to be far worse than supporting them in their decision to die. Doctor's are associated with death on a regular basis. Trust me. Doesn't make them murderers. And those who help their patients face it in the manner of their choice, with as much dignity as possible, are doing their job to care for their patients.

Stanty8: Well, being on medicine now. . . it is a sobering experience. Hospice is amazing. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks to the others for your comments as well.
on Jul 13, 2005
I admire the job you're doing and how dedicated you are to it BD. You're a very strong and kind person, and i think we need more doctors like you.
on Jul 13, 2005
Hmm, I find that to be an exceedingly morbid and unhealthy view of death. That is, of course, just my opinion. But since this is my blog I think I will opine all I want.

I find the thought of forcing 'life-saving' medicine into a patient that makes them vomit everything they eat for the entire time they are taking the medicine, that makes them feel so drained that they are basically vegetables, that prevents them from having any meaningful interaction with their families just so they can 'live' for a couple more months to be far worse than supporting them in their decision to die. Doctor's are associated with death on a regular basis. Trust me. Doesn't make them murderers. And those who help their patients face it in the manner of their choice, with as much dignity as possible, are doing their job to care for their patients


--My opinion was a bit emotion filled, as my grandmother was in the hospitol and the doctors told us that the best thing was to let her go...even though there was a small chance she could be saved...its tough dealing with things like that...thank god for medical research...lets hope this year brings new cures...
on Jul 14, 2005
--My opinion was a bit emotion filled, as my grandmother was in the hospitol and the doctors told us that the best thing was to let her go...even though there was a small chance she could be saved...its tough dealing with things like that...thank god for medical research...lets hope this year brings new cures...


Lucas: I am truly sorry to hear that. I know first hand just how hard that is. And I now know first hand how hard it is to be on the other side, and be the one telling the patient and the family that there really isn't anything left to be done. We can almost always say there is a small chance. But I honestly think there comes a time when medicine must step back and let nature, the divine or whatever else you believe or don't believe in take over.
on Jul 14, 2005
nice article, good to see you posting.

Sounds like you are becomming a real doc, not one in name only, kudos!
on Jul 14, 2005
But yet that doctor would have been associated with his death, like a murder...don't know if a perons conscience could handle that...


My opinion was a bit emotion filled, as my grandmother was in the hospitol and the doctors told us that the best thing was to let her go...even though there was a small chance she could be saved


My god, you don't ever stop, do you?

Dev, meet Lucas, the self-professed pathalogical liar who told us all that he had a PhD and even produced his 'dissertation' for our perusal that he had bought online. It was so obvious that it was a high school standard piece of work that some of us went on a fact finding mission and discovered that the school he claimed to have a PhD from didn't offer any such degree...and that he wasn't listed as one of the alumni there either. He got busted, and after a bit of prodding he apologized and said he was a pathalogical liar.

I'll leave you to form your own opinion about him. You're a good judge of character....
on Jul 14, 2005
Interesting. . .

Seems there is much to learn about the new (to me) JU.