Your ailing parent is rushed to the hospital. Among other critical symptoms, he or she is having trouble breathing, so the emergency room physicians sedate your loved one and insert a breathing tube. Mechanical breathing keeps respiration going while doctors deal with the other medical challenges. All appears to be well. Last Opportunity to Speak? … Read more
Is it “an informed and thoughtful choice,” or is it a “disturbing” threat to “the most vulnerable in society”? A newly-drafted advanced directive in New York State is already provoking deep controversy among medical ethicists, geriatric physicians, and families of those with dementia. The controversy is explained in this article that appeared last week on … Read more
When is a tattoo a matter of life and death? Apparently when it contains the words “Do Not Resuscitate.” That’s what happened recently in the Emergency Room at a University of Miami hospital. (You can read about this unusual story here on the MSN website.) The story, as odd as it sounded to us, does … Read more
The woman sat with her aging mother-in-law across the desk from the oncologist. In front of the two women were 13 prescription bottles lined up in a row. Through tears of frustration the younger woman leaned forward, waved at the row of brown bottles with white prescription labels, and pointed her finger at the oncologist. … Read more
It’s something almost everyone agrees they need to do. So why do two-thirds of adults still fail to do it? We’re talking about end-of-life planning, specifically the type of advance planning that tells both your family and your health care team exactly how you want to be treated when you’re close to death. Generally called … Read more
Your loved ones may know how you want to live, but do they have a clue how you want to die someday? You may have a clear understand of how you wish to end your life when that time comes, but according to this recent article on the website HealthDay, more than one-quarter of American … Read more
Terry Pratchett, famous for his Discworld series died last week at the age of 66. Pratchett, one of England’s most-loved authors was diagnosed in 2007 with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the “embuggerance,” as he called it. He became an outspoken advocate for assisted dying. He once wrote, “I would live my life as ever to the … Read more
Do you ever wonder how a conversation might look if you were to talk to your parents (or your children) about a living will or advanced directive. Here’s a TED Talk about one way that conversation could go. The TED Talk references this video.
Yahoo News published a story revealing a frightening trend. Many of our current aging generation don’t have end-of-life legal documents such as a living will. Many believe that they are currently in good health and don’t feel the need to dwell on the often unpleasant topics of death and failing health.