With Adam away the gang is short-staffed for episode 284 but still deliver the goods! Pat leads things off with a very interesting segment about planning for your own death. Elan then answers a listener question about yawning. Darren ends the show with a segment about if chocolate contains insects.
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Planning Own Death
The Skeptics Guide To Emergency Medicine
How Stuff Works – What makes us yawn
University of Washington – Yawning…And Why Yawns Are Contagious
New York Times – Insights: Big Yawn, Cooler Brain? Researchers Say Yes
NBC News – If Sex is a Yawn You May Actually Be Turned On
University of Pisa – If You Care, Yawn Back
Does Chocolate Contain Insects
Wikipedia – Food Action Levels
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Thanks for having me on the show this week to discuss such an important issue. I hope it makes people think about end of life care.
Pat, I didn’t listen to the RadioLab podcast so maybe I’ve got this all wrong. I did read the linked article “The Study of a Lifetime” about the “Precursors Study” and I think that the data is a bit skewed. My quoted text below is from their chart at the bottom of their article.
First, since the analysis seems to be from “Data from the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study, 1998.” and the subjects were “Members of the School of Medicine classes of 1948 through 1964” all of the physicians questioned were 65+ in 1998.
Second, is seems that the question asked was “Preferences of physician-participants for treatment given a scenario of irreversible brain injury without terminal illness.”
So people that are 65-80 with an irreversible brain injury don’t want too much end of life care. Go figure. When I’m that old I won’t either. But I think for younger people, it just might be worth it.
Also, I think that you said that CPR was only about 10% effective. But that’s on an entire range of people; some much closer to death than others. So yeah, sick dying people don’t typically respond well to CPR but younger, healthier people do. And I’d guess that most of the people receiving CPR are in the first group. I guess I’d need a break down CPR results by age/health.
Also, also, I love the show. TRC is now tied for first in my podcast queue!
I agree with your comment, Destry. I will say that the RadioLab episode starts with this study but expands beyond the specifics of the precursor study to a discussion about end of life care in more general terms.
As for age, certainly Dr. Milne makes that point during our discussion as does Darren at the end of the segment. I do touch on this next week as well.
Thanks much for the comment and for listening.