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A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Bringing together their respective expertise, sisters and debut authors Jean, an emergency room doctor, and Eileen, a practicing lawyer, explain the care pitfalls of death and dying that persist even for those who believe they're covered by a Living Will. Despite "clearly expressed wishes" to the contrary, many patients close to death are kept alive-using ventilators, antibiotics, intravenous feeding and other methods-by medical personnel ("most doctors still graduate... with basically no training in end-of-life situations"), family members unwilling to accept the inevitable, and nursing homes that benefit financially from keeping Medicaid recipients alive. To clear up ambiguities over end-of-life care, the authors advise putting together a one-page "Contract for Compassionate Care" that "gives you the option to choose a natural death" by delineating what care should be withheld-including hospitalization, antibiotics, usual medications, and hydration/nutrition. The authors outline a practical Compassion Protocol for creating the contract, which prioritizes communication with loved ones and health care professionals. The Fitzpatricks also provide detailed, authoritative and compassionate information on subjects most don't confront until it's too late, including hospice care ("an excellent source of... pain control, symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support"), nursing homes, and typical end-of-life scenarios (permanent unconsciousness, Alzheimer's dementia). END
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I'm guessing that most of us haven't done enough to be sure our families and the law understand our wishes at the end of our lives.
The family will not be able to be very effective if we haven't taken care of the legal business.