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Medicine

Wisdom from the Cheerful Oncologist

Today, The Cheerful Oncologist reminded me why he was one of my role models when I first started blogging, as he takes on the issue of palliative care:

As often as rain falls from the skies do patients reach that point in their illness where their doctor says “There is nothing more I can do for you.”

If you ever hear that phrase, remember this: it is a lie. Physicians who tell their patients this may actually mean “I’m getting depressed watching you die and want to avoid you,” or they may think of illness as a contest of skill where only victory has any value, and defeat must be acknowledged by immediate sacrifice of the vanquished.

(Read the rest.)

If there is one single area where conventional medicine does not live up to its capabilities, it’s in the area of palliative care in cancer or other deadly diseases after known curative treatment has been exhausted. Perhaps if more doctors learned better palliative care, fewer patients would feel abandoned by conventional medicine and thus fewer would be susceptible to the siren call of quackery.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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