How Doctors Die

What your doctor knows about dying might influence your end of life care decisions.

Shannon Brownlee’s book, “Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer”, Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (September 18, 2007) sheds light on what physicians know about extraordinary measures used in the ER and in intensive care units and why many physicians opt out of such care.

Dying in a hospital bed attached to tubes is not how many in the medical field would choose to die.

Why would doctors be so anxious to avoid the very procedures they deliver to their patients every day? For one thing, they know firsthand that these procedures are most often futile when performed on a frail, elderly, chronically ill person. Only about 8% of people who go into cardiac arrest outside of the hospital are revived by CPR. Even when your heart stops in the hospital, you have only a 19% chance of surviving. That’s a far cry from the way these procedures are portrayed on TV, where practically everybody survives having his heart shocked and undergoing CPR.

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