Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.
Several years back, two nurses administering palliative care at a local hospital to a terminally ill patient were shocked to learn that they were being investigated for murder by police. This was definitely not a case of euthanasia or physician assisted death, but instead these nurses were doing something that was both legal and ethical in easing a patient’s pain and making her more comfortable. DR. LEWIS M. COHEN, Professor of Psychiatry from Tufts University School of Medicine and clinician-researcher based at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield MA, decided to investigate what precipitated this case. This began a years long investigation on how caring for the terminally ill was perceived in America and the world. 85% of 24 MILLION deaths in the United States medical system are preceded by a structured decision to limit life-sustaining treatment. Yet, Dr. Cohen discovered, there were still vocal and organized groups who believed this palliative care was akin to “murder”. Dr. Cohen’s important and caring book takes a reporter’s calm and fair look at all sides of feelings about end of life care and sheds much needed light on this very emotional subject that effects us all. Dr. Cohen’s “must read” book is titled NO GOOD DEED: A STORY OF MEDICINE, MURDER ACCUSATIONS AND THE DEBATE OVER HOW WE DIE.