The increasing ability of modern medicine to arrest or slow terminal illness means that never before has death been such an extended process for so many. But as a culture, we’re only just beginning to face the deep ambivalence that reality creates for both patient and family.
A perverse set of financial incentives within the medical system too often leads to the promotion of maximum treatment, no matter what. When this happens, patients and families may no longer be the beneficiaries of the war on sudden death, becoming its victims.
Both doing psychotherapy and the writing of fiction are about stories. The essence of the art of both pursuits is the openness to the possibility that, no matter how small, no matter how fleeting, things might not only be different, but, perhaps, better.