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The Bitter End
January 30, 2014
The Bitter End
I will openly admit that a visit to my GP for no serious reason is enough reason to spike my systolic blood pressure. This may sound exaggerated but anyone who knows me well will know it to be true.
I want to be clear that I have huge respect for critical care medicine and if I were to be hit by a car, I would want it to happen outside one of our major public hospitals so I could receive the latest and best care.
I recently listened to a podcast titled ‘the bitter end’, where questions were asked; if you needed lifesaving medical intervention, would you take it. What was extremely surprising was that most medical specialists interviewed said no. In fact, one poll found around half of German specialists admitted that they would not undergo the operations they recommended to their patients.
Why is it that most people wouldn’t think twice before agreeing to major surgery or chemotherapy drugs but those in the know would more often than not refuse? One theory is that popular medical shows grossly distort the facts, and that there's a huge gap between what patients expect from life-saving interventions (such as CPR, ventilation, and feeding tubes), and what doctors think of these very same procedures.
This is obviously a very heavy topic, but my intention is actually to put a positive spin on it and to see what we can do to reduce our chances of ending up in the situation where we are requiring life saving intervention, or at least defer it to a later time.
I wonder how much longer we would live, how much better our quality of life would be and what medical costs would be saved if we all made two changes to our daily routine. If we just walked or lightly exercised for 30 minutes every day and cut down sugar from our diet, how would this change our future?
I truly believe that as advanced as modern medical science is, we place way too much faith in its ability to put us back together with new parts when we break down. We need to take steps to look after our health, preferably while we still have it and not wait for the ER staff.