A good death

Edgar's picture

Prairie Doc

In 40 years of practice, I have seen how the final moments of one’s life can be inspiring or agonizing, no matter the manner of death. As I see it, the fear of death is a greater enemy than death itself. This has brought me to make the following recommendations for approaching our final moments.

Be prepared

Scientific advances, along with health care providers’ driven desire to save lives, have wrought lifesaving techniques that sometimes cause suffering (an unintended consequence). To correct this, making an advanced directive (living will) can help prevent great suffering. Going without is like arriving at the airport with no plans as to where you are going. Remember, a written advance directive is a tool to encourage discussions about endof-life expectations. When you reach your end-of-life situation, do you want antibiotics, intravenous (IV) fluids, feeding tubes, resuscitation? (I don’t.) Speak to your family members about your wishes now in case you later lose your memory and ability to speak for yourself.



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