Going the wrong way

Charles Cowling



Roughly a third of family members of I.C.U. patients show symptoms of post-traumatic stress, according to research by the French intensive-care expert Elie Azoulay and his collaborators. If a loved one dies in intensive care after discussions about advance directives and patient wishes — that is, after the family has been made fully aware of the finality of the situation — the psychological fallout is even greater, approaching 80 percent. We do not always aid the living by inflicting high-tech ministrations on the almost-dead.


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‘research’ is far too long-winded to study in deatail at this time of night: but the gist appears to be that if you have to take part in life-or-death decisions you don’t feel qualified to make about people you care about, in an environment controlled by others whose expertise is beyond your comprehension, it affects you.

Wish I was a scientist. It seems like easy money to me.