"We live in a world of competing sorrows." Patrick Moynahan
The government is being quite progressive and thoughtful in their efforts to introduce a needed ervice in physician-assisted death(PAD). It is interesting, however, that introducing curriculum into medical schools for this, well-intentioned but relatively infrequently used therapeutic modality is gaining so much attention. In my 26 years of being a physician, treating extraordinarily sick individuals, I may have run into perhaps a dozen patient who wanted or were in need of physician-assisted death. In contrast, medical schools and residency programs barely scratch the surface of the treatment of diabetic ulcerations which are the most prevalent complication of diabetes, bar none. Not only are they the most prevalent complication, the five-year mortality rates associated with diabetic foot ulceration range between 50 and 85% whic is higher then almost all cancers save pancreatic and lung cancer.
We need a call-to-arms to address the epidemic of diabetes and it's devastating and life threatening complications. We need focus in our medical schools and residency programs but also, and probably more importantly, in our politicians who are vital in making sure our lofty ideas for preventative care and thorough treatment for the diabetic foot come to fruition. PVM
Physician-assisted death is poised to change the face of medicine in Canada and medical students are trying to determine their role in an issue that has yet to be resolved in Parliament.