By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter
The machines in my patient’s hospital room whirred away, compensating for her heart, lung, and kidney failure. She had grown so dependent on the machines that when her husband eventually requested she be disconnected from them, she died within minutes.
Her cancer was so advanced that it had infiltrated almost every organ of her body over the past several years. She had grown steadily more debilitated; there was not an ounce of fat on her body, she had no energy, she was in constant pain—and yet neither she nor her husband had any idea she was dying.
When it comes to seriously ill patients, data show that loved ones often have very different ideas of the patient’s prognosis than physicians do. In one study, 93% of family members believed the patient would be alive in one year, 71% believed they would be living independently, and 83% thought the patient would have good quality of life. (…) Read Full Article Here