Dr Ollie MontonDr Ollie Minton

 

Hello my name is Ollie Minton…

I love my phone / my iPad and they are essential parts of life. It is not the clichéd work life balance more like a detachable cyborg component – I am not ready for any implanted chips.

My digital footprint is enormous (well I have fun using twitter). I find my work IT much less enjoyable naturally as the NHS is reliant on pagers and faxes and slow computers. So it is hard to see how ‘singularity’ (the merger of humans and machine) is going to affect my work as an end of life doctor.

There isn’t going to be a blood test (Daily Mail style) or indeed any sort of algorithm that’s going to accurately tell you how long you might live for….  and *spoiler alert* there is no miracle cure for mortality so while it may be a long way off death is inevitable.

“There is still a 100% morality rate in humans”

 

We tend to react to celebrity deaths and mourn publicly much more but usually this is many degrees of separation.  Facebook memorials , tweets and the like but this doesn’t mean anyone does anything practical for themselves which is a shame to my mind professionally.

I can’t tell people to have feelings or to talk about things any more than you can be persuaded to see a doctor or tell them some theoretical circumstances that might lead to your demise and what you’d like to happen.

I can tell you that most doctors do everything they can to keep you alive which is great and makes my job all the harder as I meet people in who that’s not gonna work.

There are lots of myths to be debunked – the internet does not provide a sense filter – but there is no magic bullet out there. “The machine that goes Ping” is a comic take on this subject matter

but if you get that far it’s much better to have something written down in advance or at least an emergency contact on your phone who knows how you think.

We all do sadly have to die of something (or lots of things as we get older) barring accidents and anything self inflicted and even then please please ask for help. Look

Dr Google is both your friend and enemy but if you live in England and are in doubt start at NHS choices https://www.nhs.uk

The adage goes that rare things are rare and common things are common – one in two of us will die from cancer or heart disease, no one lives forever and by 70 + even if you currently feel invincible (or at least not hungover or knackered) you’ll have had something go wrong.

I have written my Last Will and Testament and stated what I would like to happen to my digital estate. I also registe as an organ donor and have an organ donation card. I have also clearly expressed that if I am unable to speak for myself I would not want to live in a vegetative state. Image result for roll dice .gifMy advise to everyone would be to make plans for you and your loved ones… then roll the dice and may the odds forever be in your favour.

Dr Ollie Minton PhD FRCP FHEA.  Macmillan consultant in palliative medicine. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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