Producer Sean Cole introduces us to Joseph Gallo, a doctor and professor at Johns Hopkins University who discovered something striking about what doctors were not willing to do to save their own lives. As part of the decades-long Johns Hopkins Precursors Study, Gallo found himself asking the study’s aging doctor-subjects questions about death. Their answers, it turns out, don’t sync up with the answers most of us give.
Ken Murray, a doctor who’s written several articles about how doctors think about death, explains that there’s a huge gap between what patients expect from life-saving interventions (such as CPR, ventilation, and feeding tubes), and what doctors think of these very same procedures.
Jad attempts to bridge the gap with a difficult conversation — he asks his father, a doctor, why he’s made the decisions he has about his own end-of-life care… and whether it was different when he had to answer the same questions for his father and mother.
A chart of doctor responses from the Precursors Study: