Lisa Belkin's Book 'First Do No Harm'

Powerful Essays
Quality of life, live or let die, and extraordinary measures. These are principles critical to medical professionals and the decisions they make every single day. In Lisa Belkin’s book “First Do No Harm”, she explores many real life cases, and how different physicians and teams answered the questions asked of them: Do we withdraw life saving support? Does the patient require DNR status? Do we allow a child die under our care? There are varying definitions for the term quality of life, but each has the same overarching idea: The patient is able to live a happy and fulfilled life, as decided by themselves. The integral part of this principle is that it is the patient, if cognitively able or has previously indicated in an advanced directive, who decides whether or not their life is of quality and value. Doctors often struggle with this idea, as shown in the case studies of the book, especially in the United States. This is ostensible due to American culture, where doctors reside at the top of the…show more content…
In modern medicine, the problem of lopsided decision has been mostly corrected. For example, every single patient in a skilled nursing facility has at least one of each of the following on their care team or has access to the addition of: physician, nurse(RN or LPN), nurses aide(CNA), physical therapist, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, social worker, lawyer, family members, the patient themselves, and any other professional they would like added. The fully rounded care team, and the flexibility for growth of the care team, allows for the best possible care of the patient, regardless of the stage of life they are in. This means that if a patient is in the curative, palliative, or hospice care phase of their life, they will still have access to the full team and the opportunity to receive
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