It's not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don't die like the rest of us. What's unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently. Of course, doctors don't want to die; they want to live. But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits. How has it come to this—that doctors administer so much care that they wouldn't want for themselves? The simple, or not-so-simple, answer is this: patients, doctors, and the system.
Ken Murray MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC, Zocalo Public Square, Nexus