- 10 ways people want to be treated approaching death
- if you haven’t asked them?
- I’m looking for people who have wised up!
- Now that we’ve wised up?
- The work of our later years:
- Still living?
- What are the vignettes of your life?
- Don’t make her wrong
- I do not have to say it all
- You may be listening, but did you hear?
- Goes a different place
- Embarrassed to die???
- The individual as the gold standard
- The best place?
- How then…?
- “As you wish”
- Your last 5 things
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Category Archives: Death and dying
List at least 10 ways people want to be treated when they are approaching death. Are there any of these with which you strongly disagree? If your mother or father wanted that could you do it for them if you wanted the opposite for yourself?
How do you know they know what you’d want, if you haven’t asked them?
Do you do anything for enjoyment? Anything to say you’re still living?
“She would be embarrassed to die and wouldn’t want people around.”
“Have you asked her?”
The gold standard in much of our life in this culture, especially in the care of those approaching death, is the individual. What does that individual want? Yet each of us is made up of many of us: our parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, work mates, speakers, strangers, and even our children and grandchildren—all who have been touched by us and all by whom we have been touched. The true individual is this web of life. This is what we cannot divide, that from which we cannot ourselves cut off.
Can we be the best place in America to die?
How you are cared for as you die is about autonomy—you should be able to die as you wish—but also your “as you wish” can only be complete after hearing out your loving ones. When you die, a part of them is dying too.
What is the work of dying? Say you have days to weeks left; you are conscious, alert and pain free. Please ponder for a couple of moments what you would want to be doing during this time. Write at least 5 things that would be most meaningful for you to be doing.
What if your doctor said you had to choose between cure with lots of pain or no efforts to cure but pain would be relieved? What if it were not your doctor but a bureaucrat? When it comes to the US today, the latter is the law.
My thinking is turning gradually from the absolute standard of autonomy, making some room in my thinking for what are the wishes of the family, defining family as all those around who are approaching death with this person, who will be affected by the death, who will in measure experience the death too.
Invite people to notice when they are doing well.
Encourage people to look about them in care of the dying.
Is it possible to have a system of compassion for the dying today—in the face of restricted budgets, limited time, and a culture of we can fix anything?
Are we doing death the best possible? Are we supporting the dying? Are we the best place in America to die?
How can we do end of life more compassionately?
People are dying out there. Some fear over treatment, some fear abandonment. They have a stake in how they are treated and cared for; so do their families; so do their health carers; and perhaps others as well. We can do this better. Let us engage these folks in a conversation about how we can do this better.