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Ill and dangerous advice by Barbara Ehrenreich

The author recommends not sepending time with doctors, She says " it is OK to die" ( tell that to a young mother or the grand mother of a first grandson) that doctors are not scientists and work out of memory saying "They have no idea what went into actual science". She is 77 years old and mentioned "there is a joy in realizing you are old enough to die", fine with me.

As a physcian admitted to the US as an Alien of Extraordinary Abilty" and having spent most of my proffesional life in Oncology research I strorngly disagree with MsEhrenreich. I have seen too many patients that could have been saved or had a much better quality of life had they visited the doctor earlier in the process and had their life saving tests done. She may ignore the science behind treatments.

The editorial board of the AARP Bulletin has a responsability with ALL members. Publishing this article is diserving  and missleading and may Jeopardize lives and the wellbeing of others

Dr. Francisco Rozo MD

 

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Hello Dr. Rozo,

I'm guessing you've dedicated your life to helping people survive cancer as long as possible, and that you also know when chemo or other intervention is just going to make the patient sicker and maybe prolong the inevitable and sometimes hasten it (that is, death). In my opinion, I think Ms Ehrenreich is asking for moderation, and decades of compassionate hospice services are witness to that wisdom. I don't think what she says here (https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/healthy-aging-wellness-death.html) is dangerous. It's one voice among many. You've added your voice. All to the good.

Carry on.

Jane

(former hospice social worker and 15 year oncology social worker)

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You are referring about patients in hospice. I am talking about productive people with years ahead to live that by reading this article won't accept follow ups, or delay going to the doctor (that according to the very scientific author don't know any science) I have patients that came to me too late in their disease leaving me very little option for treatment. Had they come early they would be enjoying a much better quality of life.. I don't know ow updated are you with new oncology drugs, by saying "intervention is just going to make the patient sicker" makes me think you are referring to old traditional chemotherapy treatments
This patient's attitude happens not only in my area of expertise but in other specialties as well .
So your approach may be right for patients in hospice, but it is an ill proposition for younger healthy people that by following the author comments will delay or worse deny treatments that can save their lives
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