Compassion, Choices and End of Life Questions

Aug 11th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Some have inquired…ok what do you do if you have a spouse or you find your own diagnosis is imminent death! Whoa! We don’t talk about issues like that. Not on the internet or on popular talk shows or in columns in magazines and newspapers (does anybody read those anymore?).

Sharon, my special and eternal spouse, and I found an organization which addresses that question for those who are serious inquirers. After all, inquiring minds want to know.

Their publication is “A reprint on end of life options.” Some folk will really get bent out of shape over this one. But, let me tell you, if you have spent time in ICU with someone who is being kept alive on life support, you may be willing to look at options beyond the medical profession’s ability to sustain life.

What dastardly organization dares to go there? It is Compassion and Choices. Ever heard of Socrates? You may want to search that guy! All the more so if you are dealing with someone with a terminal illness. Be careful. There are those who may report you. There are those who think suffering is the last necessary step before arriving at the Golden Gate.

Compassion and Choices brochure presents the rationale for “Good life, Good death,” in their 2000 edition. They profess to maximize “the options for a peaceful death, including physician aid in dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults who request it under careful safeguards.” Now, while this won’t be everyone’s choice, I have met numbers of people who have told me they would prefer not to go through a long, agonizing and delayed death process.

So, if you are interested, while assisted death is still not legal in most states, you may want to look into what the Compassion and Choices offers. I am not recommending them. I only know my audience to be curious and willing to explore what may be available in all sorts of conditions we face as we grow older. I can offer you their address. It is www.compassionandchoices.org. Look it up, it is a very mature way to look at mortality in the mirror.



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