Art of Dying Volume II - Page 12

SHOSHANA UNGERLEIDER I'm not here to place a judgment on someone's decision, but I do my very best to explain to people what that life might look like, as much as one can. In medical school, there is very little taught about death and dying. We are basically taught about pathology, the study of disease. We learn how to fight it, how to treat it using our vast array of medical technology, which is fantastic. We've come so far since the days of medicine where we would just sit and watch our patients suffer and not be able to do anything.  In my first year of residency I did several months of ICU training, meaning more acute care. I found myself feeling uncomfortable that we 12 | ART OF DYING would admit frail, elderly patients who had very advanced, really end-stage illness. Whether it was cancer, or heart failure, or something else, we'd admit them to the ICU and hook them up and that's where they'd spend their last moments of life. It was very obvious that we weren't going to be able to cure their illness at that point, or even turn around what was going on. They were so ill. I thought to myself, "Why is this happening. It doesn't seem like a place where anyone would want to spend their last few moments or days life." We had them away