« Who Says There's No Good News? | Main | "The War on Poverty has its war profiteers; »

September 11, 2013

Why don't we die the way we say we want to die?


In part because we say we want good deaths but act as if we won't die at all.
In part because advanced lifesaving technologies have erased the once-bright line between saving a life and prolonging a dying. In part because saying "Just shoot me" is not a plan. Above all, we've forgotten what our ancestors knew: that preparing for a "good death" is not a quickie process to save for the panicked ambulance ride to the emergency room. The decisions we make and refuse to make long before we die help determine our pathway to the final reckoning. In the movie "Little Big Man," the Indian chief Old Lodge Skins says, as he goes into battle, "Today is a good day to die." My mother lived the last six months of her life that way, and it allowed her to claim a version of the good death our ancestors prized. The Ultimate End-of-Life Plan - WSJ.com

Posted by gerardvanderleun at September 11, 2013 9:20 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

The article was interesting until she got to the "we" at the end - hinting that this is the blueprint to why government should be encouraging people to just die (or more like denying care) if they are over a certain age.

In short this turned into a propaganda piece (complete with misleading statistics) to why care must be denied to everyone over a certain age, or whatever care the death panels eventually decide. While I myself agree with the sentiment and would likely turn down chemo or major surgery after a certain age, the moment this becomes a government policy I will fight it tooth and nail.

Posted by: Director Mitch at September 11, 2013 10:22 AM

Well said, Director Mitch. I am a hospital nurse and see every day the patients (usually their families, really, who are making decisions for patients)whose lives are extended into chronic suffering for no purpose but to relieve the guilt of the family. But if government starts to make these decisions we have discovered a new and fresh hell.

Posted by: Suz at September 11, 2013 2:01 PM

It's true that a lot of money is spent to keep old geezers (of which I am one) alive for one to five more years, often with a very poor quality of life. It's also true that the tax payers are paying for it. IMO, it's a decision that should be made between the patient and the doctor not by some faceless bureaucrat in D.C.

I saw my brother kept alive through the miracle of modern medicine for five years. His quality of life was very poor. But he had a wife who loved him, took good care of him, and he wanted to fight as best he could to the end. I don't want to be a burden to my family or society, but when my health goes south, (and my doctor assures me it will) I may not choose the same path as my brother. It will depend on what the doctor tells me about the possible quality of life and how much pain I'm in. At least that's what I'm thinking now. I reserve the right to change my mind. (What's left of it.) :-)

Posted by: Jimmy J. at September 11, 2013 7:24 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)