And so, reading your words in the New York Times last week gave me great hope. Although medical culture is just beginning to shift, I have come to believe that, for now, this new paradigm in medicine needs to be led by lay people. And you are the quintessential lay leader to start this conversation.
I am aware that "get in and get out" is an attitude one must adopt to complete a very busy work day and still have time and energy to manage a home life. I feel this is not right. I understand that days like this occasionally occur but when this is the accepted norm it is time to re-think our nursing business model.
A Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment is a legal document that is signed by a physician or nurse practitioner, outlining the type of medical care her patient should be given if critically ill. Unlike a DNR, which is active only for a particular hospitalization, the POLST is valid anywhere and anytime, unless the patient rips it up.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to contribute to society and are a burden rather than a benefit. I can think of few less-Jewish ideas than this. It is not only heartless but wrong.