[Link] How doctors die

I’m reposting this from HN’s front page, because it brought up a non-cached thought on cryonics:

The patient will get cut open, perforated with tubes, hooked up to machines, and assaulted with drugs. All of this occurs in the Intensive Care Unit at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a day. What it buys is misery we would not inflict on a terrorist. I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.” [...] I’ve had hundreds of people brought to me in the emergency room after getting CPR. Exactly one, a healthy man who’d had no heart troubles (for those who want specifics, he had a “tension pneumothorax”), walked out of the hospital.

In short, end-of-life medical care is often pointless, painful and costly; doctors and ER personnel know this so well that they go to great lengths to ensure it doesn’t happen to them.

It seems as if our systems and conventions around end of life are designed to not let people have a say in how they spend their final moments, even when letting them have their way would result in significant savings (note the dollar figures quoted above). I’ve already speculated on why that might be, but I keep seeing that turn up in unexpected ways.

I suspect that this is the bigger obstacle to cryonics, not so much e.g. the lack of scientific proof. “Freeze me cheaply instead of spending insane amounts of money on brutal attempts at keeping me alive” sounds like a sensible thing to tattoo on your chest, but the evidence suggests that it wouldn’t be honored any more than “DNR” tattoos.