Inappropriate Intensive Care
Sometimes even to become part of the problem.
Intensive care in the context of incurable diseases is a case in point.
What is the purpose of intensive care?
It is aimed at Intensive monitoring and Intensive therapy so that individual organ dysfunctions are identified early and corrected and lives are saved. Which is a great thing to achieve when the life is indeed salvageable and when the salvaged life is of reasonable quality.
Unfortunately, medical science, by and large, seems to have failed to restrain this facility with the result that even people who are obviously dying of incurable diseases are subjected to isolation in intensive care units where there is no difference between day and night, where they are imprisoned by monitors and devices with a tube in every orifice, where they die after prolonged suffering, devoid of human contact.
A study published by Ruth D Piers and colleagues in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA. 2011;306:2694-2703, 2725-2726) found that 27% of respondents (doctors and nurses working in intensive care units) perceived inappropriate care happening in at least one patient under their care on a particular day.
And in 89% of such cases, patients received inappropriately “too much” care.