Every time I read or see a well thought out piece on end-of-life decisions, it makes me want to go into palliative care medicine. Yes, I am a trauma/critical care junkie--but I also love the holistic approach and paradigm shift that palliative care provides. They are my yin/yang areas of love and interest in medicine. The ability to reach out and pull someone back from the brink---or the skill and wisdom to let go and let be when that is what a patient wants.
I think that Atul Gawande is an excellent writer and though he is a surgeon (i.e. from the specialty that probably gets slammed the most in the media with regard to these issues) he has an amazing grasp of these dichotomies.
I have droned on about end-of-life issues on this blog before, I know, but his article on the matter is a work of art as far as I am concerned. If you haven't already read it, you should. And then you should make your friends read it. And your parents. And your siblings.
I will now step off my well worn tiny soapbox.