|Published February 7, 2017.|
However, modern medicine has also decreased the health span.
In other words, people are living longer, but many are living in a state where their quality of life is very low while managing numerous chronic diseases and sometimes--for years--a terminal disease.
Particularly salient are Warraich's questions about how to balance extending life with quality of life during end-of-life care.
Haider Warraich, a fellow in cardiology at Duke University, provides a thoughtful exploration of issues surrounding end-of-life care in his book Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life.
His book is one of more erudite on the topic. The academic register is a bit high. And one of the earlier chapters discusses death at a cellular level, which I found very challenging.
Nevertheless, Warraich includes a number of case studies to balance out the history, philosophy, statistics, and evidence-based research. These stories help illustrate the complex and difficult situations that patience and their support team of family members and health care professionals face.