Zócalo Public Square :: How Doctors Die

My thanks to Tasha for pointing me to this amazing article written by Dr Ken Murray about the choices doctors make regarding their own deaths.

It is an eye-opening article, and in view of the wonderful discussion we have been having about euthanasia – and about the terrible harm that can be done to terminally ill patients – I strongly recommend you read it.

For me, making a living will has now become an absolute priority.

Zócalo Public Square :: How Doctors Die.



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

10 responses to “Zócalo Public Square :: How Doctors Die

  • Tasha Turner Lennhoff

    I need to update my living will as it was done without an attorney. I need my living will to be with numerous doctors, to cover laws in 2 states, and to make sure my mother and husband have it. I also need to look into a med alert ID that has DNR on it. I’m also trying to figure out a way to have it in my car, protected in case of accident, clearly visible to emergency personnel. Can we say paranoid?

    As to expensive and painful treatments to extend my life. No thank you.

    I’m glad people are finding the article helpful.


    • acflory

      -grin- Paranoid? Maybe, but I’d rather call it cautious. This is something you fear, and really do NOT want to happen so it makes perfect sense to me to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that it doesn’t.

      Before the Black Saturday bushfires that kills 173 people here in my home state, my neighbours thought I was paranoid for installing roof sprinklers and all sorts of other precautions. Even my own daughter thought I was paranoid. No one thinks that any more.


  • Honie Briggs

    I read the article. Insightful and well written. I also read many of the comments. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing this. End of life care is an emotional topic for many people for many reasons. I for one do not want to spend my last days in an ICU. I would want appropriate trauma care, but hooked up for a long goodbye, that is no way to die.


  • davidprosser

    Excellent article. It says everything I expect of the medical community who know he best way to go. It’s also the way I’d choose to go, as quietly as possible with the minimum of fuss. And, having sen it in action now more times than I care to remember, without trying to prolong life that is going to be short on quality.
    Your idea of the living will and maybe ensuring your own doctor is aware of your feelings is the best way to go unless the idea of a large tattoo on your chest appeals.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    • acflory

      Yes it was an amazing eye-opener of an article and I’m so glad Tasha linked to it in comments. I might forego the tattoo in favour of one of those no-code medallions. Much prettier I’m sure. 😀


  • Carrie Rubin

    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing it. Absolutely everyone should have a living will. My husband and I drafted ours years ago. Makes the process smoother for everyone, but it especially helps assure the patient gets treated on his or her own terms.


    • acflory

      lol – I forgot we had a doctor in the house! I appreciate you telling us that Carrie. So many of these issues I’ve never even thought about, like most people I guess. I shall definitely look into it with the brother-in-law.


  • EllaDee

    Great article – thanks for sharing. echoes what I think. NO CODE. No futile care.
    Often doctors and staff are ‘guided’ by hospital regulations and fear of legal action (as mentioned). That this is primary over a patient’s true wellbeing is appalling and ridiculous.
    We just saw our friend die over 6 months. He gave the hospital system a chance and it gave him hope but it didn’t save him. In the end, I believe the treatment prolonged his suffering.
    If your solicitor is able to draw you up an effective living will can you let us know, as when the G.O. and I did our wills quiet a few years ago, our solicitors advised that he could draw up a living will and it may help depending on circumstances but may not be legally binding in others, which is why we created a form of our own because of the legal requirements around hospital treatment.
    I guess if you don’t want intervention, the best way is as the doctors did is to withdraw yourself from medical intervention at an early stage and let nature take its course.


    • acflory

      Yeah, that article really makes you think doesn’t it? I guess a living will is important for those unexpected traumas. Unfortunately if there are issues with whether it’s legally binding then my suburban solicitor probably isn’t the best person to go to. 😦

      I may have to ask the brother-in-law to recommend someone. He’s in corporate law but might know someone who’s an expert in the area. I’ll definitely post back when I know something.


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