News and Blogs

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


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


When CPR Shouldn’t Be An Option

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OK to Die
Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The maxim of “first, do no harm” should be extended to not just the patient, but also to the families of the dying patient in our care. We should not harm their emotional lives and consciences by asking them to make decisions about CPR that are ultimately futile.  Such a burden is pointless and creates unnecessary suffering.

Read the full article at OK to Die


When Prolonging Death Seems Worse Than Death : NPR

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Fresh Air : NPR
October 9, 2012

Many of us think of death as the worst possible outcome for a terminally ill patient, but Judith Schwarz disagrees.

Schwarz, a patient supporter at the nonprofit Compassion & Choices, says prolonging death can be a far worse fate. For many patients, good palliative or hospice care can alleviate suffering, yet "a small but significant proportion of dying patients suffer intolerably," Schwarz writes.

Based in the New York area, Compassion & Choices is an organization that helps terminally ill patients and their families make informed and thoughtful end-of-life decisions to hasten a patient's death. These decisions are not made impulsively, Schwarz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Nobody makes this choice unless the burdens of living have so consistently, day after day, outweighed all benefit."

Read the full article and/or listen to the interview (37:54) at Fresh Air : NPR


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