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« Obamacare Will Survive (John Ballard) | Main | Poem Without a Name by John Ballard »

October 25, 2012


Dr. Atul Gawande wrote an article in the New Yorker some time back on the lengths to which cancer patients would go based on their misunderstanding of curative and palliative power of cancer treatments. Those who understood the difference lived the remainder of their lives more peacefully and sometimes even longer than those who in their panic, subjected themselves repeatedly to ever newer and more toxic chemo drugs and radiation doses. It is sad of course but many cancer patients are relatively young and it is hard for them to come to terms with their mortality. A daughter-in-law of a very good friend of mine is currently in the midst of battling cancer. She is done with her harrowing chemo regimen. The mental toll it has taken on the woman (in her mid forties) is almost as severe as her physical ordeal.

Instead of chemotherapy better to make use of natural remedies, because it cures the diseases without any side effects.

Thanks for your comment, Ruchira. (The comment above, incidentally, would be considered spam in any other place, but in this case I think it's okay to leave it in place. I spot checked a couple of the links and as far as I can tell they aren't selling anything, and the information appeared to be very general, and valid as far as it went.)

Gawande is one of the giants of this whole healthcare reform phenomenon. I read somewhere that his landmark article in 2009 was required reading for everybody on staff at the White House.

A big part of the palliative vs. curative understanding is denial on the part of many that everyone eventually dies. It's a topic few want to discuss when all (meaning 100%) will face that final appointment. Even those who have come to terms with their earthly end frequently have someone important to them, unable to face that same reality, who simply refuses permission for them to go. As a non-medical caregiver I have seen more situations than I want involving protracted denial of mortality resulting in unnecessary expenses as well as the mental toll it takes on all

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