不许老年人生病

普林斯顿——肺炎曾被称为“老年人的朋友”,因为这种病经常会快速而没有痛苦地结束老年人的生命,死于肺炎的老人各项机能均已衰退,如果不是死于肺炎仍然有着进一步恶化的可能。现在对波士顿地区福利院严重痴呆病人的研究显示,人们经常采用抗生素来赶走“朋友”。这样的做法凸显出一个问题:我们是否并非因为应该医治,而只是因为能够医治就机械地采取疾病治疗措施?

由Erika D’Agata和Susan Mitchell主持的这项研究不久前在《内科医学文献》杂志上发表,结果表明在18个月的时间里,214位严重痴呆症患者中有三分之二接受了抗生素治疗。这些患者的平均年龄高达85岁。在进行计分标准由0到24的严重损害测试的时候,有四分之三的患者只得了零分。这意味着他们或者根本说不了话、或者只能进行最低限度的语言交流。

在这种情况下使用抗生素能否延长生命并不明确,但即使真能延长生命,人们也不禁要问:这样做有什么意义?有多少人希望在完全不能自理、吃饭要别人喂、路也不能走、而且意识已经出现了不可逆转的损坏,以至于既不能说话也认不出自己子女的情况下继续延长生命?在许多情况下,抗生素采取静脉内给药的方式,这可能会使病人感到痛苦。

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/rRHf0Ru/zh;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now