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criticism of gawande pt 1

Submitted by liamharvey on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:38


In “WHOSE BODY IS IT, ANYWAY?”, Gawande discusses the thin and often blurred line between a patient’s autonomy and a doctor’s ability to mediate or even make decisions for patients when they believe the patient is making a mistake. Gawande discusses many situations where a patient’s decisions and what he as a doctor recommends are at odds. Gawande admits it is not always clear what to do in these situations, but states that the current view in the medical world is to allow the patients to decide (212). One situation that Gawande describes involves the patients referred to as Lazaroff, who has an incurable cancer in his spinal cord. The cancer has caused Lazaroff to lose control and ability in his left leg and may progress to paralysis. Lazaroff has only a few weeks to live according to the doctors, however, he still speaks about soon returning to work (209). Perhaps Lazaroff is making light of the situation, but much more likely in his situation, he misunderstands his situation and that his lease on life has been cut short.