Who Should Choose – 2
This is another side discussion focused on the decisions we make as patients, families, providers, and care givers – as we continue on long healthcare journeys. I used the first “chapter” of “Who Should Choose” to illustrate the challenges that come up right away. While the story is appropriate I’m not sure I’ve used it in the right way. So let’s backtrack just a bit and think about what makes a successful decision – the “right” decision. I’m guessing that ultimately we’ll end up with two or more dimensions. (That will make this economist happy – he’ll be able to draw a graph or at least put spots on a two dimensional surface.)
So, that takes us into the realm of preferences – what I want maybe the same as what you want – or not. I’m going to use my own preferences to think this through so they may not work with others.
So – some possible criteria that would define success might be:
- Quality of daily life. This includes moving comfortably, reasonably free from pain, and having as much independence as possible.
- Life expectancy – pretty straightforward, though there is a hitch. Life expectancy is colored how that time is spent. There’s good time and not so good time. It gets wrapped around the quality of life criterion. That’s what we may need a two dimensional graph.
So far I’ve used these two criteria as we wrestled with my cancer. They helped drive the decision to stop at the basic treatment protocol. I bet there are more considerations lurking around. I’ll add those back here if/when they occur. And I should think how to incorporate them in the stories from chapter 1 and those that follow.