Contradictions in Healthcare Delivery
June 17, 2009
I recently gave a talk about the Center for Practical Bioethics at a really upscale retirement center (about 40 people came) and I surmised that every one of them had experienced the contradictions daily encountered when we enter the world of healthcare delivery: like “knowing” what to do, yet being without the energy to start over. Or becoming part of the fast track of aggressive care, yet knowing it is failing in what you hoped it could do.
Yet even with all their first-hand experiences, when push comes to shove, will they stand up for hospice care or aggressively implement their loved one’s wishes?
I heard one heartening story yesterday: a neighbor had called 911 and the son (who was the father’s surrogate decision-maker) heard that his dad was in the hospital. He went to the hospital, had his father checked out—because the dad had said he wanted to die at home and he was dying—and the ambulance that had brought him returned him home.
I call that story a good “shove.”