In a historic reversal, fewer patients are dying in hospitals. But experts warn that many families are unprepared to care for seriously ill relatives at home. Advocacy groups have encouraged families to have difficult conversations about end-of-life care, which often reveal that older relatives do not want heroic measures to extend their lives in hospitals. About 45 percent of older people have completed advance directives, which often specify that doctors should not take extreme measures to prolong [...]
Her Way My terminally ill mother wanted to end her own life. What would it take to fulfill her last wish?
More precedes this excerpt and more after - very thoughtful and detailed read My mother, as far as I can tell, might have been the first D.C. resident to take her own life under the Death With Dignity Act. (Mary Klein found her peace the following month.) If true, that would make her happy. But I also know that she would wish that no terminal patient would have to endure the uncertainty [...]
Geoffrey Hosta is a board-certified emergency room doctor with more than 30 years of experience in emergency medicine. "About 1 in 4 elderly people will develop dementia. Many of them will be tortured by doctors. I should know: I am one of those doctors. I recently tortured an 88-year-old woman with advanced dementia. Her mind was gone. She didn’t know her own name. Like other advanced dementia patients, she suffered incontinence, aggression, [...]
Can I Bring Death Talk to My Holiday Dinner? By Loretta S. Downs That was the question I was asked at a recent presentation I gave on Advance Healthcare Planning (ACP). “Of course, you can,” I replied. “Just be prepared with some information and look for an opening.” Whether you gather for the holidays with family of origin or family of choice, being with the people who care most about you is [...]
People Magazine: Dan Diaz"Before her death, Diaz told his wife that he would continue working to get the law passed in more states. When Brittany died, it was available in Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana. Five years later it’s available in nine states — including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont — plus Washington D.C. “I promised Brittany that I would help work on this legislation in other [...]
"Whether suffering is “intolerable,” Dr. David Grube said, “is defined by the patient. The point is the suffering is defined by the person, not by the doctor or the priest.” Grube, 72, a retired Oregon family physician who is national medical director for the nonprofit group Compassion & Choices, spoke to an audience of about 45 people in an auditorium on the Springfield campus of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. His [...]