Our ageing population is a modern success story, and success brings problems. The new demographic is for people to die in old age, or extreme old age, but with multiple illnesses and diagnoses, and on a cocktail of medication. But where is the balance of medicine between curing and caring? Are we neglecting the wellbeing of the dying person in our desire to fight death at all costs?
Margaret McCartney, author of The Patient Paradox, takes a balanced look at the way we handle end of life care. She finds that medicine can harm as well as help, and that non-medical interventions can sometimes be more effective.