REITH LECTURE: AGING AND DYING
I’ve known of (and heard some) of the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures since they began in l948. Therefore it was a surprise and pleasure on Tuesday night, on BBC world radio, to hear ASSISTED DYING freely discussed by Atul Gawande, American surgeon and author, who said he was in favor provided it was carefully controlled. The right-to-die movement has come a long way from its years in the wilderness by now getting to Reith Lecture status. – D.H.
Atul Gawande: The Problem of Hubris
Broadcast on BBC World Service, Tue, 9 Dec 14, Duration: 42 mins
In this episode Atul Gawande calls for a new approach to the two great unfixable problems in life and healthcare - ageing and death. He tells the story of how his daughter’s piano teacher faced up to terminal cancer and the crucial choices she made about how to spend her final days.
Dr. Gawande argues that the common reluctance of society and medical institutions to recognise the limits of what professionals can do can end up increasing the suffering of patients towards the end of life. He proposes that both doctors and individuals ask a series of simple but penetrating questions to decide what kind of treatment is appropriate – or whether treatment is appropriate at all. The programme was recorded at The Royal Society in Edinburgh in front of an audience.
By going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith
you can hear this talk.