Physician Patient

Author Archive

Medical Practice Morality 11: Not Too Soon to Say Goodbye – Art Buchwald, and Die Wise – Stephen Jenkinson

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

The “Death Phobic Culture” is central to his thesis. The “fix is in” and is supported by the “Death Trade,” says Stephen Jenkinson. In his view, we are on the receiving end of a “conditional compassion” that does not allow us to die. I agree that Death Phobia needs to be acknowledged and embraced.
At what point is one’s life not worth living? Jenkinson asks. And who decides when “enough is enough”? How many “grief teachers” will the culture tolerate? Embracing grief is learned, and can be taught, he argues.
I do not support physician-assisted suicide or “medical aid in dying.”  This practice to me is an overkill response to what Jenkinson describes as death phobia.
 From the moment of our conception we are all “terminal.”  Our deaths are part of life. And compassionate hospice is life affirming rather than a consequence of “death phobia culture.”
Click on these videos:

The Morality of Medical Practice

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

This superb article by James L. Doenges, MD titled “Third Party” Interference, the Practice of Medicine, and the Market Economy” was originally distributed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in 1959 and reprinted in the Spring 2020 edition of the AAPS Journal.
The morality of the practice of medicine is much older than its scientific basis. In the final analysis, says Dr. Doenges, “The patient-physician relationship …is made possible only through an appreciation of the moral responsibility of both individuals… No one can remove the personal responsibility of each to the other… The key to good diagnosis is good, honest, and complete history. The knowledge that information confided to the physician will not be divulged to others permits even the most timid patient to give the most personal, intimate, and confidential information to his physician…Medical care is not a mechanical function…Every “Third party” medical program is dishonest because through classification, fixed fees and regulations it indicates to all that illness can be standardized. This position is false because it ignores individual variations as diagnostic requirements, time, complications, circumstances of treatment, response to treatment, and severity of the disease. All medical teaching, tradition, and experience repudiates this idea…Third party medical programs inevitably result in falsification of records.”