If I sounded too certain yesterday that a practical and honest physician cannot be found when a frail elder is experiencing a health crisis – I know that it can be different sometimes. There are those physicians who are able to ask the right questions and clearly here the answers. When an elder or their loved one(s) is ready to allow natural death, their choice may be supported by the institutions and the physicians who work within them. It can and does happen that a palliative care physician may be a part of the health care team or another physician who honors the right of all patients to achieve the death of their own choosing while prioritizing the comfort of the frail elder. These folks have been my colleagues and they practice with an approach that is sadly in the minority. But they do exist. There is always the exception.
Always the exception….
May 25th, 2012