Rap from ZDoggMD draws attention to palliative care dilemma

There are as many ways of dealing with the end of life (or not dealing with it), as there are people who die.

Death is inevitable. How we deal with it, culturally and medically, is a topic that has generated lots of interest of late. There are as many ways of dealing with the end of life (or not dealing with it), as there are people who die. In my practice, I see them all.

Some see death as the final challenge in a life filled with challenges well met. They face it head on, making clear choices and being an example of strength, clarity and humanity for their families and everybody around them as they prepare to leave this world. Others, not so much. Those who have not yet fully accepted the truth of their death can take their family and a well-meaning and reality-based palliative care team on quite a ride while they tilt at windmills and chase miracles. It can seem like a theatrical farce with resources scattered to the wind, pain and suffering galore, and wreckage in the family and community of caregivers.

Death in America, and the challenges we face at the end of life, has been the focus of a seminal Institute of Medicine report. It has been the subject of in-depth reporting in some of our most widely read magazines. And of course it is an issue that I am passionate about, having dedicated my life to helping those experiencing death do so with dignity, clarity and (to the extent medically possible) an absence of physical pain.

And now, the challenges all of us face of the end of life has its own music video. That’s right. A good friend of mine and fellow physician, Zubin Damania, M.D. is the Director of Healthcare Development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, an ambitious urban revitalization movement spearheaded by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. He is also a musician and performance artist, going under the pseudonym ZDoggMD. “Ain’t the Way to Die” is his wonderful contribution to this ongoing debate. Here is his video for your viewing enjoyment. Please note that I have no financial interest or formal business relationship with ZDoggMD. I just happen to think he’s a pretty cool dude.

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