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Reality TV, Without the TV

An essay by the Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley, about his father's recent death:

On shows like “House,” ailments are exotic and are diagnosed and solved in 60 minutes, with a couple commercial interruptions. On TV talk shows, talking heads scrap over health care policy and try to score political points. What’s typically missing is the human element—how health care decisions actually affect flesh-and-blood people.
Sitting in a dimly-lit room in the ICU of Rochester General Hospital, in Rochester, NY, with my ailing 88-year-old father, I soon came to realize I wasn’t in a scripted episode that was going to end happily. And politics and rhetoric were far from my mind.

The whole thing is worth reading, not for what it will teach you about policy but for what it will teach you about humanity.