January 23rd, 2013
Most people, when asked about how they would like to eventually die, say they would like to die peacefully and in their sleep. Though, apparently, what most people don’t realise is that dying peacefully and painlessly generally implies having a massive stroke or heart attack.
At odds with this, when asked what life-saving medical interventions they would be willing to have performed on them – such as CPR, ventilation, use of a feeding tube and so on – most people say they would be open to any or all of the interventions available. Except, that is, for doctors – because they know that the reality of these interventions is far less rosy than most of us imagine them to be.
This episode of the Radiolab podcast covers this bleak but important topic. I found it to be somewhat unsettling, but I’m glad I now know what I do; it’s good to be informed. Life is not like in the movies.