Monday, May 05, 2008

Slow Food, No; Slow Medicine, Yes

I eat. I've previously blogged about my skepticism of "slow food", "locavore", etc. Carbon taxes, which would raise the cost of transportation (and of production on industrial ag operations), are fine. But I don't like the romanticism surrounding the movement (don't like movements, mostly).

I live, for a while longer, but this article on "slow medicine" in the NY Times today makes me lean to approving it:
Grounded in research at the Dartmouth Medical School, slow medicine encourages physicians to put on the brakes when considering care that may have high risks and limited rewards for the elderly, and it educates patients and families how to push back against emergency room trips and hospitalizations designed for those with treatable illnesses, not the inevitable erosion of advanced age.
My sister and I used a hospice for my mother, who was old, had Alzheimer's, and was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. That example is one reason why I like "slow medicine", but her case also gives a caution. Mom broke her hip while she was in her late 80's, but she was able to recover quite well. It's easy to think about being close to the end of life, but more difficult to tell when one is there.

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