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Choosing who will choose: The Why and How of Selecting a Healthcare Agent

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OK to Die
30 May 2012

Will your cousin (who lives across the country) choose what you will have for lunch?

Did your mother choose which underwear you are wearing today?

All very unlikely -yet both of these relatives could end up choosing whether you have a feeding tube placed in you, or whether you are kept alive on a ventilator in a diaper at the end of your life.

This is sometimes the case when we haven't created advance directives, and haven't spelled out in detail what we want or don't want, and haven't selected and educated a healthcare agent(s).

Beyond the obvious, there are two critical reasons that you should not allow the medical decision making role to fall haphazardly to your closest or most demanding family member should you become unable to make decisions for yourself....

Read the full article at OK to Die

 

What's in a Name? When Artificial Life Support is Really Artificial Death Extension

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OK to Die
30 June 2012

The names of things often greatly affect our perception. In End-Of-Life lexicon, there is a movement underway to change the name of the medical order DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)  to AND (Allow Natural Death). No change in the medical reality of what occurs, but a radical change in our emotional reaction to the each term:

from "DNR"-- "they withholding a medical intervention" (evoking negative feelings)

to "AND"-- "they are giving care that allows death to occur naturally."

I certainly feel more comforted and assured by the latter, positive wording, although both phrases constitute the same medical pathway.

Read the full article at OK to Die

 

Obsessing Over Death Isn’t Just For Old People Any More

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Vice Media (UK)
October 13, 2012

Interview with Caitlin Doughty (Order of the Good Death)

VICE:  So, Caitlin. Death to a lot of people is a bad thing. A bummer, at least. What exactly is a ‘good death’?

CAITLIN DOUGHTY:  A good death starts when you’re still young. You have to live your life acknowledging that death is inevitable and let it affect your relationships and view on the world. A good death is about planning your death and what you want done with your body and taking delight in it. It’s about the quest to have everything in place – literally and emotionally – when you die. Preparing for death doesn’t mean preparing for some kind of afterlife. Preparing for death is to enhance the life you’re living right now.

Read the full article at Vice Media (UK)

 

What is a 'bad death' and how can it be avoided?

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OK to Die Blog
Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Last week, I wrote about the concept of a "good death" and how it can be created. If there is meaning and utility in comparing and contrasting ideas, then this week I should identify what might constitute a “bad death” and suggest ways to avoid this.

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog

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What is a “good death” and how can we create it?

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:48 )
 

What is a “good death” and how can we create it?

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OK to Die Blog
Tuesday, 02 October 2012

I have decided that if I am going to continually encourage my very elderly and terminally ill patients to decline artificial life support measures at the end of the road, and instead, choose a “good death,” then I need to be able to explain and provide this “better” alternative more effectively.

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog

 


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