T. Fallon: From a patient’s perspective

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I did not read much in The Washington Post article (printed in the Sun Journal Dec. 14), “Effort to prolong life may prolong pain,” that was from a patient’s or a patient family’s perspective.

I am an elderly person who will die within a few years. I would like a doctor who understands that I do not want to die.

I would like a doctor who understands a life or death decision is not a “one size fits all” decision.

I’d like a doctor who knows me and my family. I do not want a doctor who happens to be on duty or who has just finished internship.

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And I do not want a doctor with whom I have had disagreements.

I’d like a doctor who knows and respects my values and religious directions.

I’d like a doctor who will respect family members, not considering them “a problem.”

I would like a doctor who understands that I and my family consider the time of a life or death decision to be difficult — a very personal decision.

I’d like a doctor who understands I and my family deserve a full discussion, with a sincere attempt to understand my own, or family members’ concerns and opposition, if they arise. This is a confusing time.

I hope I have added something to the article from a patient’s perspective. I hope the “life or death decision” will continue as a respectful dialogue.

Thomas Fallon, Rumford

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