"Patients die. This is a tragic truism in the world of medicine. Usually, the patients who die are elderly. Patients die from diabetes and kidney disease, or from alcohol abuse and liver failure, or from heavy smoking and lung disease. Or patients die...
"Patients die. This is a tragic truism in the world of medicine. Usually, the patients who die are elderly. Patients die from diabetes and kidney disease, or from alcohol abuse and liver failure, or from heavy smoking and lung disease. Or patients die from cancer.
As a physician, I take these deaths in stride. I try to provide comfort care as they lay dying. Patients often pass into a dreamlike state, at the end. They are not fully conscious. I provide morphine for any pain, which may or may not hasten their entry into the final, dreamlike state."
Janet Tamaren is a family physician and author of Yankee Doctor in the Bible Belt: A Memoir. She can be reached at her self-titled site, Dr. Janet Tamaren, and on Twitter @jtamaren.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Patients should never underestimate the self-flagellation of the physician."
Reflect and earn 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CME for this episode.
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