Ken Hillman

February 3rd, 2015

When the end is nigh, it’s best to avoid hospital


October 31, 2009

Ken Hillman


Pin It

submit to reddit

Email article


Reprints & permissions

Many of us will spend the last few days of life in an intensive care unit. For many, it will be a painful and futile experience, causing unnecessary suffering for the patient and loved ones.

Once death was treated as a relatively normal and inevitable experience. It is now a highly medicalised ritual. Now, when someone who is old and near the end of their life suddenly or even gradually deteriorates, the ambulance is called. The paramedics cannot be discretionary, even when it is against the wishes of the patient. The role of emergency rooms is to resuscitate and save lives, and package the patient for admission to hospital, whether active treatment is appropriate or not.

It is difficult to get off this conveyor belt. The reasons why are many and complex.

via Ken Hillman.

Comments are closed.