The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor’s eyes - The Washington Post

I head to the ER. If I’m lucky, the family will accept the news that, in a time when we can separate conjoined twins and reattach severed limbs, people still wear out and die of old age. If I’m lucky, the family will recognize that their loved one’s life is nearing its end.


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As far as I can judge (perhaps the verb should be 'guess') the British (for example) take a much more realistic view of "late life care" than Americans - that is to say, they are less inclined to subject themselves, or their parents, to painful, demeaning, and probably fruitless, attempts to avoid imminent death. Why this should be, when so many more Americans claim to be Christians, is a bit of a mystery. Americans, presumably, believe that they are going to meet their maker; more often the British believe that they are bound for oblivion.

Posted by: dearieme | Jul 10, 2014 4:13:37 AM