News and Blogs

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


Home Funerals : A Full Measure of Devotion

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Obit Magazine
by Joyce Gemperlein
May 12, 2009

(DIY) home funeral movement

Would you, could you, say goodbye to a deceased family member by washing the body, laying it on a bed of dry ice – perhaps, like in old-timey Westerns, on the kitchen table right where the breakfast dishes were – gather the proper burial documents and dig a suitable hole?

More and more baby boomers in the United States are asking themselves that question lately, say members of the do-it-yourself (DIY) home funeral movement, which began about two decades ago.

Read the full article at Obit Magazine


Big Bird learns about death (VIDEO)

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Uploaded by Feb 16, 2011

The actor who played Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street, Will Lee, died. The Sesame Street people decided to let the character die too, and used it as an opportunity to teach children about death.

This clip demonstrates how to treat death in an honest and helpful way better than any evasive or euphemistic gibberish I've heard from allegedly mature people.

Watch the video (4:33) on YouTube

Thanks to Confessions of a Funeral Director for alerting us to this video.


"It’s a shameful betrayal of trust"

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Central Valley Business Times
Stockton CA
October 8, 2012

CALIFORNIA: Insurance company to return $25 Million from funeral policies

Forethought Group Inc., a company that sells end-of-life policies through funeral planners, will return approximately $25 million to California beneficiaries and has agreed to adopt strict business reforms to ensure prompt payment of benefits in the future, says state Controller John Chiang.

Read the full article in the Central Valley Business Times


Important Things to Consider When Preparing Your Will

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U.S. New & World Report
September 26, 2012

MONEY : Personal Finance

Dying without a will triggers intestacy laws, which means the state determines how a person's estate is distributed and how their assets are allocated. In other words, if you don't make a will, the state's law effectively does it for you. In most states, the estate is divided between the decedent's spouse and children, but not all states. There's a common misconception that people don't need a will if they just want their assets given to their spouse, says Elizabeth High, an estate planning lawyer with LeBlanc & Young in Portland, Maine.

Read the full article at U.S. New & World Report

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 October 2012 11:32 )

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