Monday, September 1, 2014

Assisted suicide isn’t the only dignified way to go – most of us die with dignity

Assisted suicide isn’t the only dignified way to go
We come into this world helpless, and most of us have gone out of it that way. It makes us human.

Too many interventions make the patient worse
I'm pretty much fed up with those who are weighing in on this debate.
Yes, if you are in intolerable, unmanaged pain, due to a terminal illness.
Most of us do not fit this category.

Dr. Donald Low surely hit a new low with his terrible video. With one eyelid taped open, he was bemoaning the fact that he was unable to end his life. He didn't want the embarrassment of having someone help him to the toilet. I find that most of my clients accept the help they require with dignity and grace.

And I've had some pretty ill clients. As with pediatrics and geriatrics, we need some help along the way. There is dignity in accepting help gracefully. My client with ALS, who used her iPad keyboard to type her words. She wasn't ready to end her life. Her husband showed much grace in seeing to her every need. I felt such a reward in helping her PSW clean her up and get her back form her commode to her wheelchair.

There are diseases with long trajectories. Cancer has a very varied trajectory, long or short, depending upon its stage. The period of time gives family and friends time to pregrieve. It gives the person time to prepare for the end-of-life. Most of us die with dignity.

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