The Death Doctor? No, I’m a Palliative Care Doctor

By: Andrew Thurston, M.D.

100689675Some people who know what I do don’t really know what I do.

They picture me floating through the hospital extinguishing lives, blowing them out one by one like candles down an endless corridor. They think I practice euthanasia, that my presence alone hastens death — that I consume hope and happiness like a black hole, compressing it all into nothingness. Some call me the Grim Reaper, others the Death Doctor. Some say I’m an agent of health care reform, the peddler of a secret government agenda.

The truth is, I’m none of these things. I’m a palliative care doctor.

Andrew Thurston, M.D., is the Medical Director of Palliative Care at UPMC-Mercy. Please visit to read the rest of his blog post about what people don’t  know about the important job he does.