Art of Dying Volume II | Page 13

MIKE BOLAND from their family and their loved ones. I started asking the question, "Why is this happening?" It turns out there are many reasons. Physicians have a hard time seeing the bigger picture. We're very good at looking at blood pressure and heart rate. We get obsessed on particular metrics and stop thinking about the person in the context of their illness and their lives. I think that that's unfortunate. No matter what you do in medicine, you need to keep the bigger picture in mind to best serve your patients-- asking the question, "Is this treatment, or this route, in line with this patient's goals and values?" To get at that question, you have to talk to patients and their families, which is something that's been lost in medicine. I absolutely think that  the lay public, meaning anyone who is at some point a potential patient or  caregiver, needs to understand that the default mode of the Western medical system, meaning America's healthcare system, is to do everything for everyone for as long as we can. If you are to say nothing and you come into the hospital, and you're quite ill, you'll get everything VOLUME II | 13