Compassion & Choices
I have lived with the reality of a premature death for more than four years. Today, I live with blackouts, blindness, convulsions and more. Aside from these horrific symptoms, I live in constant fear of even worse days that lie ahead. What crime did I commit to be forced to die this way?
A proposed bill in California that would have allowed terminally ill patients the right to die failed to advance last
Physician-assisted dying is a complex and emotional issue. Here is a new perspective done with a leading physician with much direct experience - and who has quit one of his professional medical associations due to their lack of integrity on the topic.
The movement toward "good" death - legalized medical aid in dying - has been growing for decades in the U.S., but has been gaining momentum and attention in recent months.
Co-founder, in 1987, of the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in the U.S., Ostaseski currently heads the Metta Institute, created to provide education and training on spirituality in dying.
Death-and-dying usually goes with I-don't-want-to-talk about-it. Katy Butler wants us to talk about it. She worries, though, about the culture of death-denial, and about the lack of language when we do try to talk.
Why can't we offer dignity to those that know they are dying, that know that they will die in excruciating pain and will spend their last days suffering? Why can't we respect the wishes of those who want to exit gracefully, respectfully, surrounded by those they love?
Perhaps doctors will eventually all be adequately trained in pain management and palliative care. But even then -- and "then" is a very long way off -- must the doctor always know best? Why can't I, the patient, the person facing my own dying, be the one in control?
For those of us grounded in end-of-life care and choice, the earth shook this week. Did you feel it? The shaking hasn't stopped, but the religious foundation from which aid-in-dying opponents build their strength cracked.
5. Informed Consent. Patients must have comprehensive, candid information in order to make valid decisions and give informed