Sunday, November 3, 2013

How to have a good death

A good death - more information

  • Choice of setting
  • Independence around decision-making
  • Team-based support
  • Free of pain
  • Family nearby

Dr. Larry Librach co-wrote the textbooks for field of care that he helped pioneer: "Palliative Care: Core Skills and Clinical Competencies" and "The Pain Manual: Principles and Issues in Cancer Pain Management."

W5: The Final Word, part one
With cancer robbing him of life, Dr. Larry Librach speaks with Dr. Marla Shapiro about his unique perspective on caring for the dying.
Death is inevitable, but how can we prepare ourselves and our families for it? Dr. Larry Librach shares his view on how to confront death.

Death with dignity is a 'good death.' One where the patient is comfortable, properly medicated, and at peace with the end of their life.
Physician-assisted suicide is a specific act, ending a life when the patient demands it, not necessarily when family is ready.
Death is complicated and complex. We know how much it impacts a family when someone takes their own life, or dies in a sudden incident. It takes time to come to terms with impending death, and there is a reason for this.
good death is one in which the four dimensions of good death are met: 

  1. Physical (pain control, breathing, fatigue, bedsores),
  2. Spiritual (accepting death, doing a life review, seeing meaning on one's life, finding peace), 
  3. Social (being conscious; communicating with family/friends, careworkers; communicating needs, wishes; sharing thoughts, feelings; having closure; saying farewell; a quiet, private atmosphere) and 
  4. Emotional/psychological needs (accepting help; not being a burden; being peaceful; having self-esteem; enjoying simple pleasure by releasing hope by gaining peace; making choices).

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