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Being Mortal


An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life...
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Discuss Being Mortal by Atul Gawande:
What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

Created: 09/01/17

Replies: 11

Posted Sep. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

Chapter 4 describes the birth of the assisted-living facility concept (Park Place), designed by Keren Wilson to provide her disabled mother, Jessie, with caregivers who would not restrict her freedom. Key components included having her own thermostat, her own schedule, her own furniture, and a lock on the door. What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It means giving them choices and letting them make decisions concerning their own life. Let them be part of the things they enjoy to the best of their ability to do so. Don't talk over them or about them, talk to them. Then, listen to them!


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 101

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RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It will humanize them and give them feelings of being cared for.


Posted Sep. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarak

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 24

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It is crucial to see beyond the illness; to see the person; respect them. A life lived must be honored & loved.


Posted Sep. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothygo

Join Date: 03/27/13

Posts: 20

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a pati

As the book points out, many times patients are reduced to timetables and schedules related to their illness. To me, it would mean to be considered an individual whose life had (and hopefully still has) delights and interests. Music, art, friendly conversation.....all of these should be part of the treatment, part of the therapy.


Posted Sep. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 54

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RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

To me it means rotely following the textbook and not as ndividualizing the care to each person, respecting and herevwishs, goals etc.


Posted Sep. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 40

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

I agree with all the contributors. This is what this book is really about. The
Aging process now allows society to marginalized individuals. Illness or disability
makes it even worse. We must value the person and allow them to contribute
Make decisions, even bad ones. How can drinking wine damage a terminally ill
Diabetic. How can eating fried foods matter if it reminds a person of childhood.
We as humans love to control others and be judgmental. That urge needs to be
Tamed when caring for the critically ill.


Posted Sep. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccal

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 19

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

I do not believe they are mutually exclusive. I would hope that the medical care is one that understands the needs of geriatric patients yet is sensitive to them as viable, caring people with wants and needs like anyone else. Are they trained to deal with the elderly and their unique needs and compromised issues?
As a person who is residing there, I think the personnel is my main concern. Are they compassionate,caring, and patient? Have they received the type of training that is unique to the needs of these particular guests? Are they just working a "job" or do they have the heart that shares an empathy for them? Then, I would evaluate the environment? Is it inviting, cheerful, provide activities, exercise, and healthy yet tasty meals? What are the extra activities that are offered? Is there transportation that facilitates their ability to leave the building? How much do they go "beyond" what is expected? What are the attitudes? Is it a friendly and caring environment when just the residents are there and no outside guests? Is there a "voice" that can take the concerns to the Board of Directors or the Administration? For me, person and patient reside together---not mutually exclusive. Thanks for the question. It really made me think this concept through to the end.


Posted Sep. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 35

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It has meant for me in practicing medicine to see the 'Life' in front of me not just the name, labs, xrays on the chart.


Posted Sep. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 104

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RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

Treating them with dignity and compassion. Not seeing them as a disease but as a person.


Posted Sep. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janp

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It means seeing that person as his or her unique self rather than applying a one size fits all type of care.


Posted Nov. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 51

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RE: What does it mean to you to treat someone with serious illness as a person and not a patient?

It means asking them what they think and how they feel rather than telling them what you think they need to do. Unless a person has dementia and can no longer make decisions for themselves, any person who is ill should always have the right to make decisions affecting their life.


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