Saturday, July 31, 2010

End of Life Issues

I just found this article linked on Facebook by a friend of mine. It was in response to an article I had read earlier article that I got from Episcopal Chaplain at the Bedside.  Go read all 3. I'll wait.

This is really the most profound thing I have taken away from a summer of CPE. This issue of life, and quality of life is something that came up in my Loss and Grief pastoral care class, but it's at the heart of illness, and how we live, and most importantly, how we die.

After watching patients go through awful things, I went home and did an advance directive. I"m filing it with my doctor and putting a copy in my safe and on my fridge, should the EMTs ever come to my house. I implore you, go do the same. And think about, and talk about, what life and death mean to you with your friends and family.

3 comments:

Qira said...

Hey there, Kelly.
I read all three articles.
I am thinking of father, who is at home at this moment and who is attended by his dear hospice nurse a few times weekly. There are tears standing in my eyes.
"This is not a test you can study for," my father said as his mother was dying. "It's just unbelievably hard." Still, I think his decision to enter hospice care was wise and kind and the best for all of us.
And it's still really, really hard to see my father in decline.
Not sure what-all this has to do with a comment thread, but it's what I had to say.

peace
Catharine

karencath said...

Along the same lines, read this too:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/magazine/20pacemaker-t.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Erica Anderson said...

I read the first article and will wait to read the other two after it left me in tears. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I then thought of the article that karencath mentions, above,from the NYT. Very, very powerful stuff, and I appreciate your suggestion, Kelly. I think of these issues as far as Keith's mom goes, too. She's doing fine now, but that could change, and shouldn't we be thinking about these things while we still have the ability to converse with each other and the sick are still sound of mind? What does she want at the end of her life? I hope we are not afraid to ask her that before it is too late.