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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Monday, September 17, 2018

How our lives end must no longer be a taboo subject

Kathryn Mannix
The Guardian
Originally published August 16, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

As we age and develop long-term health conditions, our chances of becoming suddenly ill rise; prospects for successful resuscitation fall; our youthful assumptions about length of life may be challenged; and our quality of life becomes increasingly more important to us than its length. The number of people over the age of 85 will double in the next 25 years, and dementia is already the biggest cause of death in this age group. What discussions do we need to have, and to repeat at sensible intervals, to ensure that our values and preferences are understood by the people who may be asked about them?

Our families need to know our answers to such questions as: how much treatment is too much or not enough? Do we see artificial hydration and nutrition as “treatment” or as basic care? Is life at any cost or quality of life more important to us? And what gives us quality of life? A 30-year-old attorney may not understand that being able to hear birdsong, or enjoy ice-cream, or follow the racing results, is more important to a family’s 85-year-old relative than being able to walk or shop. When we are approaching death, what important things should our carers know about us?

The info is here.