Variations on an End-of-Life Theme

Really fascinating comments by Mike Darwin about what amounts to variations on end-of-life themes. I think it’s a reality that the human body is programmed to deteriorate in time, probably led by brain function, anatomically and physiologically. It’s been said that this deterioration is universal and expected and so it’s incumbent on us to doContinue reading “Variations on an End-of-Life Theme”

On the nature of death and personhood

Most of my friends who work with the brain are “scientists” who ponder about how the brain “works”. They poke and prod and measure things trying to find out what it means when an impulse moves from one place to another through various neurotransmitters. I don’t think any of this matters because it won’t leadContinue reading “On the nature of death and personhood”

On Organ Donorship and rules

A very healthy 40 year old college professor develops a headache and collapses at home. CAT reveals a large but localized intracranial bleed that turns out to be bleeding into a large Glioblastoma. The patient is intubated, unresponsive but postures to pain. No operative intervention. Neurosurgical opinion is patient will not get better but willContinue reading “On Organ Donorship and rules”

On Terri Schiavo and the right to die

As of now (0600 hours in Pittsburgh) the court of appeals in Atlanta has upheld the ruling of the previous courts in the Schiavo case. There will be no more feeding tube. This is probably the last appeal. It is highly unlikely the Supreme Court will hear the case. I have only a few briefContinue reading “On Terri Schiavo and the right to die”

Customer Satisfaction in medicine

A recent survey- about ONE THIRD of responders are willing to buy into “customer satisfaction” as an open ideal such that maintaining corpses in an acute care ICU is should be a family right and privilege and the corpse should stay right there till the family gives permission to remove it. Given the current “customerContinue reading “Customer Satisfaction in medicine”