Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD, is a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He is a professor of radiology, pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, liberal arts, and philanthropy, and vice-chair of the Radiology Department, at Indiana University. Gunderman's most recent book is X-Ray Vision.
Stopping at the local CVS is often quicker, cheaper, and easier than going to a hospital or primary-care physician, but it also denies patients the quality care that comes from long-lasting relationships with doctors.
A physician and nurse practitioner discuss the emerging role of medicals professionals who ease the death process. There is no one right way to die, but just as we need help coming into the world, we need support and love going out of it.
In some new systems where doctors are reviewed by patients, physicians unwilling to supply addicts with pain pills receive poor patient-satisfaction feedback. That is judged as poor performance by hospital administrators.