A sense of ending

Psalm 22
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Hebrews 10:16-25
John 18:1-19:42

You have probably noticed that modern medicine does not excel at endings. When a terrible illness begins to take its course, medical technology throws every weapon at its disposal into the fray. Standard treatments give way to newer treatments, which spawn innovative treatments, which produce "the latest" treatment, after which comes the territory ahead--an ominous experimental treatment whose only name is a government number.

Finally, when the end comes, we have no words with which to greet it. It is as if we have spent all our language on trying to secure the future and now, in the face of death, we are dead broke. The wrap-up at the hospital is terse and ordinary, if not defensive. You leave a multistoried Temple of Medicine with a plastic bag of personal effects, and hope you can remember where you parked. Death is an anticlimax.

 

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