Why Steve Jobs Refused A Potentially Life-Saving Surgery

Walter Isaacson, the author of the upcoming official Steve Jobs biography, told 60 Minutes in the US that Steve Jobs refused what could have potentially been a life-saving surgery. Remember, though Jobs had the deadly pancreatic cancer, he also had a very rare form that was curable through surgery. Jobs didn’t want that surgery.

Jobs’ reasoning was that he “didn’t want [his]body to be opened” and that “he didn’t want to be violated in that way”. That does falls in line with who Jobs was spiritually but seems like a mistake that could have been avoided. 60 Minutes asks the obvious question, how could such a smart man make such a stupid decision? Isaacson, who has had numerous conversations with Jobs, says:

“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.”

He eventually had the surgery, some nine months later, due to pressure from his family and friends, but that point, the cancer had spread to the tissue around him. Isaacson said that Jobs downplayed the severity of his illness, even receiving cancer treatment in secret but eventually came to regret his decision to delay the surgery. [CBS news]

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