Why Doctors Die Differently

Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. It was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer by one of the best surgeons in the country, who had developed a procedure that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5% to 15%—albeit with a…

Doctors and Dying

The humor in many of comedian Steven Wright’s famous one-liners is that they are simultaneously familiar and absurd. At some level we all know that we are going to die, but as long as we are still alive (or a loved-one is alive) we can cling to the irrational hope,…

Vote on euthanasia

Richard Willingham’s article on voluntary euthanasia (”Greens set to rejoin battle for voluntary euthanasia”, November 19, p1) raises many personal, ethical, legal and political questions. While possibly the majority of the population is in favour, legislation has hitherto been blocked by religious, legal and medical objections, although many doctors follow…