“I’m not trying to squeeze one more day out if it’s a bad day.”

Posted on January 20, 2013 by

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Theresa Brown, a contributor to In Fact Books’ forthcoming I Wasn’t Strong Like This: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, reflects on end-of-life decisions at the New York Times’ “Well” blog. She writes about a nurse, Amy, who in 2010 received a diagnosis of Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer and opted for quality of life against aggressive treatment:

Unfortunately, Amy’s example is an exception: too often, patients don’t always grasp the trade-offs inherent in health care choices. Our own understanding of risk-benefit may be faulty or clouded by emotion. We all want to believe the most up-to-date treatment is always the right course of clinical action; that’s the meaning, after all, of “modern medicine.” And health care providers often laud the benefits of treatment without fully discussing the risks.

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