In many ways, demented patients present the greatest challenge to the question of what makes us human. Victims of dementia seem to lose all power of reason, recognition, speech, and memory. Their minds disintegrate, and all that seems to be left is the physical form. That, too, rapidly fades. Because of this, we tend not to see them as humans, but as something inhuman or formerly human—merely masses of flesh to be tossed aside. But this is a mistake.
Author: Aaron Rothstein (Aaron Rothstein)
The Hippocratic Oath offers physicians of any generation guidelines, proscriptions, and prescriptions about how to be a good physician. We may not agree with all of its conclusions, but if we unthinkingly dismiss them, we do so at our own peril.
Bellevue reflects the worst and the best not just of its disadvantaged patients, its physicians, and its students, but of the American democratic project.
Advocates for “death with dignity” seem to deny reality, since no human death is truly dignified—even if a person chooses or accepts it. Instead, what ultimately gives death dignity is the kind of life that preceded it.