The “Nice Man Idea” of historical past was popularized by the Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle within the mid-19th century. In his 1840 “Lectures on Heroes,” he famously wrote: “The historical past of the world is the biography of nice males.” Carlyle claimed that historical past was made by “nice males” possessing private braveness, imaginative and prescient, charisma and political or army genius. Our extra egalitarian age has favored mass actions, social forces and “nice concepts” because the shapers of historical past.

Nevertheless, the Nice Man Idea of historical past was confirmed true not too long ago by a Nice Girl.

Palliative care, though excruciatingly essential to medical care, has for many years struggled for a spot on the desk of medical specialties and within the medical consciences of physicians. This wrestle for recognition was gained when a Nice Girl possessing braveness, imaginative and prescient, charisma, and humanity made palliative care historical past. Earlier than her passing, Mrs. Barbara Bush instructed the world she was choosing consolation care.

In a media-instant, palliative care grew to become the headline in each paper or digital information discussion board and the speaking factors of all discuss radio. Nevertheless, the primary phrases of written information and preliminary voices of radio chatter revealed the painful prejudice that has stored palliative care as a second-class medical specialty by reporting that Mrs. Bush had chosen to cease medical remedy. The painful fact uncovered by the previous First Woman’s public choice is that in lots of locations and for a lot of physicians aid of struggling isn’t thought-about medical remedy, in actual fact, fairly often it isn’t thought-about in any respect.

Subsequent reporting has mirrored the seismic impression of this Nice Girl’s actions. Articles are actually reflecting the glare from the sunshine Mrs. Bush’s alternative has shone into the darkish aspect of illness — the aspect of medication the place care is barely prolonging life with out restoring a life, the place remedy solely delays the dying descent of a illness, the place struggling is commonly ignored by docs and endured by sufferers. The braveness, imaginative and prescient, and humanity of Barbara Bush was to publicly cease simply stopping her demise and to dwell her life till her demise arrived. She had chosen palliative care because the medical remedy for the center and lung illnesses that mastered her physique.

We’re witnesses to the actions of a Nice Girl.

Earlier than Mrs. Bush’s announcement a Google search of “palliative care” produced over 1.2 million outcomes, however sufferers by the tens of millions are going with out palliation of their struggling. A search at this time of “Barbara Bush Palliative Care” has already reached over 233,00zero! However probably the most essential results of Barbara Bush’s revelation is that palliative care could now be made accessible to and demanded by the tens of millions who’ve persevered with out it.

Palliative care has been a motion because the 1960s, and it has been a medical specialty since 2006. However till Mrs. Bush’s announcement, many sufferers languished within the medical netherworld of being handled to demise whereas experiencing unrelieved bodily, psychic, and non secular ache. However a single individual — on this case, a Nice Girl — has made palliative care historical past simply by saying aloud, “I select consolation.”

She has additionally modified the course of palliative care historical past, which is one thing no different individual or group regardless of their earnest efforts has been in a position to do. That is what makes Barbara Bush greater than a former First Woman of the USA — it makes her the primary First Woman of Palliative Care.

In deciding to make her remaining life extra comfy, she made her approaching demise extra significant. In selecting to not undergo any longer, she supplied the hope of aid from anguish to these sufferers struggling now. It is a great point which is why Mrs. Barbara Bush is a Nice Girl.

Michael A. Salvatore is a palliative care doctor.

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