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Tea. Cakes. Death.


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#1 gmat

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:56 AM

Talk about death...it won't kill you.

I'm going to one of these next week, sponsored by the local hospice and the senior center. My experience as a volunteer LTC Ombudsman suggests many folks could benefit from this conversation.

http://deathcafe.com

#2 andydp

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:39 AM

Is Governor Palin scheduled for an appearance at this "death panel" symposium ?
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#3 Practical Girl

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:30 AM

gmat, I hope your report back on what this was like. So much of the conversation surrounding death is in arrears, within grief. There's value in that, but something tells me that the older generation, to start, can really benefit from awareness, discussions around fears, and all the rest that can weigh very heavily on a person confronting mortality- their own or a loved one's.
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--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”

#4 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

In contrast, Sunday I accompanied the "kids" and their new sprout to their UU congregation [1], with much general welcome to me and said sprout. The closest we got to any preaching was a gentle reminder that we're all mortal and by the way what are we planning to do in the meantime?

Since said sprout is currently my principal heir, I reminded them that I'm not a fan of wasting his inheritance on last-ditch desperate efforts to buy me a few extra days.

[1] Very good jazz band, BTW -- and a sly selection of "Summertime" on the first day of Summer Time.
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#5 indy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:50 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 19 March 2017 - 02:55 PM, said:

Since said sprout is currently my principal heir, I reminded them that I'm not a fan of wasting his inheritance on last-ditch desperate efforts to buy me a few extra days.

I've said the exact same things to my family. These days medicine prolongs death. Life, not so much.

#6 gmat

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:23 PM

View Postindy, on 19 March 2017 - 03:50 PM, said:



I've said the exact same things to my family. These days medicine prolongs death. Life, not so much.

What you said made me flash back to a New Yorker article from a few years ago.

http://www.newyorker...02/letting-go-2

The author, a surgeon, describes a case where they did everything possible, to the point where the question, "Is she dying?" didn't have any obvious meaning left.

"I once cared for a woman in her sixties who had severe chest and abdominal pain from a bowel obstruction that had ruptured her colon, caused her to have a heart attack, and put her into septic shock and renal failure. I performed an emergency operation to remove the damaged length of colon and give her a colostomy. A cardiologist stented her coronary arteries. We put her on dialysis, a ventilator, and intravenous feeding, and stabilized her. After a couple of weeks, though, it was clear that she was not going to get much better. The septic shock had left her with heart and respiratory failure as well as dry gangrene of her foot, which would have to be amputated. She had a large, open abdominal wound with leaking bowel contents, which would require twice-a-day cleaning and dressing for weeks in order to heal. She would not be able to eat. She would need a tracheotomy. Her kidneys were gone, and she would have to spend three days a week on a dialysis machine for the rest of her life."

Later in the article he is making rounds with the hospice nurse, visiting a patient at home. The surgeon is confused when the hospice nurse seems to be paying a lot of attention to effectively treating various subacute ailments the patient has. He thought hospice meant getting out of the way and letting nature take it's course:

“That’s not the goal,” Creed said. The difference between standard medical care and hospice is not the difference between treating and doing nothing, she explained. The difference was in your priorities. In ordinary medicine, the goal is to extend life. We’ll sacrifice the quality of your existence now—by performing surgery, providing chemotherapy, putting you in intensive care—for the chance of gaining time later. Hospice deploys nurses, doctors, and social workers to help people with a fatal illness have the fullest possible lives right now. That means focussing on objectives like freedom from pain and discomfort, or maintaining mental awareness for as long as possible, or getting out with family once in a while. Hospice and palliative-care specialists aren’t much concerned about whether that makes people’s lives longer or shorter."

#7 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:56 PM

View Postgmat, on 19 March 2017 - 06:23 PM, said:

Hospice and palliative-care specialists aren’t much concerned about whether that makes people’s lives longer or shorter."

And yet, surprisingly, in many cases palliative care actually provides both a better and a longer life.
The buck stops here; the rest is someone else's problem.
The purpose of "defense spending" isn't "defense," it's "spending."
First they came for the Muslims, and we said "Not this time, motherfucker!"
Our Party! In her relations with other Americans may she always be in the right; but Our Party, right or wrong!

#8 golden_valley

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:31 PM

Having just been through an end of life decision, I can say the best gift you can leave your children is a clear expression of what you want and don't want in terms of medical care and quality of life in the later years. I am grateful that my brother and I were aware of our dad's opinions and thoughts about this, plus his foresight in writing it down so that medical professionals are aware of it too.

#9 Practical Girl

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:43 AM

GV- sorry for your loss. It sounds to me, though, that your father provided a clear roadmap to his family. So very important.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”

#10 Rue Bella

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:49 PM

Quote

I am grateful that my brother and I were aware of our dad's opinions and thoughts about this, plus his foresight in writing it down so that medical professionals are aware of it too.

My father did not write his wishes down, but years ago, we his children knew very well what his opinions were - and that was not to drain his carefully saved funds to keep a 94yo body breathing.

One of the best talks I had was with a male night nurse who said to be careful (and firm) regarding what some of the younger doctors might want to do for practice. Not stated so directly, but his meaning was clear.
What is wrong with these people? ~ PG

No longer politically correct





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