My Case for Palliative Care
Discussing Mortality – Does it Matter?
To answer the question posed in Discussing Mortality
“Does anybody matter enough to you to open the door and find out?”
For me, Yes, and many times, yes. My late husband and I walked that end of life road where the gift of life was as precious as our last walk together.
I just picked up a book titled Being Mortal, in which the author, a doctor, considers the experience of mortality. He explains that he was taught in medical school how to keep people alive, but not how to let them die, or even have that discussion, if there was no longer anything he could do to make them better.
He says “our ideas about how to deal with finitude” (his word, not mine) are inadequate, if not lacking totally. He talks about doctors having conversations about the risks of operations—which can include severe complications such as paralysis and death—with greater ease than they can discuss why not having the surgery is the preferable decision. Even when they agree.
Death is a tough one. No matter our belief system. So is getting older and frailer, and losing pieces of our dignity. One would think, I would think, there is no better…
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