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Steve Jobs Refused Life-Saving Surgery

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What a tough decision.

Walter Isaacson, the biographer with whom Steve Jobs trusted his life story with, was told by Jobs himself that he refused life-saving surgery on his pancreatic cancer.

Jobs instead tried alternative therapies, which he later regretted.

Talking about his upcoming book Steve Jobs, Isaacson says:

I've asked [Jobs why he didn't get an operation then] and he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened…I didn't want to be violated in that way.'"

After his wife urged him to get the surgery, Jobs finally gave in nine months later. By that time, it was too late. Isaacson reveals why he thinks Jobs didn't do it sooner:

"I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…we talked about this a lot. He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it….I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."

That is just so heartbreaking. To think that having that surgery sooner could have saved the life of Jobs. It's just so tragic. We can't even begin to understand what was going on in his mind during that time.

[Image via AP Images.]

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10 comments to “Steve Jobs Refused Life-Saving Surgery”



  1. 1

    He probably was very scared of an operation. There are people who would rather die than know they are getting operated. Obviously he didnt want to die, but he didnt even want to think about the operation and just looked aside.



  2. 2

    There is no such thing as life saving pancreatic surgery. It is the worst and has zero life expectancy. Many say if you open up your body and get oxygen to the cancer it thrives. Steve Jobs was a miracle in the way he lived his life, and it was a testimony to that way he lived that he live the amount of time he did. It is a death sentance to hear the words… I am sorry you have pancreatic cancer. More research please! And with the way jobs lived his life I would be surprised that he would have approached his decisions with regret, he one a rare bird to actual live believing in death as a catalyst for life.



  3. 3

    Re: Geat real – That is correct. The only option really is alternative medicine and even that doesn't get you back to full capacity.



  4. 4

    Re: Geat real – is correct. chemo on pancreatic cancer only saves like 30 % and kills faster in a worse way



  5. 5

    Re: Geat real – You are wrong. I work in oncology and there are some pancreatic cancers where surgery is a very viable option. My friend is 6 years out from pancreatic cancer and is living proof. He got radiation and chemo he was told chances were slim but they did get it all during surgery and we pushed for the most aggressive chemo he could get. To this day we celebrate his life.



  6. 6

    Re: Geat realRe: Geat real – actually… there is surgery than can be done for pancreatic cancer. My mother had what is called a "whipple procedure" after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in the early 90's. She did have to also go through chemotherapy for an entire summer… but it did save her life. She was cancer-free for 16 years. While her case and years of survival made her a rare statistic she was a survivor nonetheless.



  7. 7

    Re: CatieArienne – I am really happy for your mother, she was a rare statistic. and Re: Jen120 – I am happy for the life you celebrate.


    The fact that two people on this site can attest to individual survival points out I am sadly jaded about the topic. The mortality rate on average is b/w 95 to 97%, and diagnosis comes so late in the progression of the disease. I had hoped, prayed and worked for my neighbor to survive and defy the statistic but she only lasted a summer. I was her health advocate and we tried everything, but it was too late. There needs to be more research on early diagnosis. Hopefully early detection of cancer will advance, and more targeted radiation and therapy to only the tumor.



  8. 8

    Steve Jobs: dumbass who believed in holistic therapy. No philanthropy. Timed his inventions to maximum profit and obsolescence. Dead and didn't have to be, and all his money couldn't buy him real intelligence.
    Bill Gates: Alive and smarter. Devotes his time and fortune to ridding the world of infectious diseases. Priceless.
    Go PC!



  9. 9

    WHAT AN IDIOT. HE TURNED HIMSELF INTO A HUMAN TOOTHPICK AND THEN A CORPSE



  10. 10

    even if he would have had the surgery, he probably still wouldn't have made it. A surgery like that doesn't just magically remove every bad cell and save a life. Plus he could have died during the surgery, you never know.