There was a really interesting article on the ABC News website recently about death. It was written around a radio interview that you can hear here. The article itself was pointing out the extraordinary lengths the medical profession goes to to keep old people who are dying alive and questioning whether this is actually the best way to go. Basically, they suggest that quality of life should be considered more. Do you send someone full of tubes to a nursing home to die slowly, or let them die (more quickly) with less pain and more dignity and maybe even at home? Read the whole article here.
He remembers one patient with end-stage lung disease and several broken ribs.
"She was in a lot of pain. She was struggling to breathe before the rib fractures and there was very little chance of her getting better, but her family was pushing us to do everything," he says.
"The next morning her husband was saying 'she's in terrible pain', and I was saying, yes, I'm afraid she is, but as soon as we give her any morphine she stops breathing.
"He said 'well, please give her some morphine'."