Do Not Resuscitate

I’m currently sitting in the hospital in charge of taking new oncology admissions, hoping right along with all the cancer patients that none of them get sick tonight. I just finished tucking in a young man with a terrible disease, here simply because he is too sick to exist in the comfort of his home. He has a rare cancer that is metastatic (meaning spread outside it’s starting place). And it’s metastatic EVERYWHERE. Bones, liver, kidneys, stomach, even huge skin nodules so he has a visual reminder of how fast the disease is taking him over. I discussed with him the nature of his disease and what his goals might be – did he want our invasive chest compressions and breathing tube if his heart gives up while he is here?

I was just reading a couple of doctor blogs I like, Reflections of a Grady Doctor and Everything Health, and I came across this poem from JAMA, actually written by a doctor I know. It really reflects what it feels like to discuss this with patients and I thought I would share:

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Say a thank you for your health!

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