A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life


by: Fitzpatrick, Jeanne
Format: Paperback

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Product Description The fail-safe plan for ensuring one's final wishes are respected Advanced directives and living wills have improved our ability to dictate end-of-life care, but even these cannot guaran­tee that we will be allowed the dignity of a natural death. Designed by two sisters-one a doctor, one a lawyer-and drawing on their decades of experience, the five-step Compassion Protocol outlined in A Better Way of Dying offers a simple and effective framework for leaving caretakers concrete, unambiguous, and legally binding instructions about your wishes for your last days. Meant for people in every walk of life-from the elderly, to those in the early stages of mentally degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, to healthy young people planning for an unpredictable future-this book creates space for a discussion we all must have if we wish to ensure comfort and control at the end of our lives.. 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 Review About the Author Jeanne Fitzpatrick, MD, is the coauthor of A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life. For more than 25 years, Dr. Fitzpatrick has practiced emergency medicine in small cities and rural areas around the United States. She works in the emergency department at Santiam Memorial Hospital in Stayton, Oregon. Eileen M. Fitzpatrick is the coauthor of A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life. Fitzpatrick has been a licensed lawyer for more than 30 years. She received her BA in 1983 from State University of New York at Binghamton and her JD from Harvard University in 1986. She lives in New Hampshire. William Colby is the author of Unplugged: Reclaiming our Right to Die in America. Colby also wrote the foreword to A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life. He is a lawyer who in 1989 represented a family in the first right-to-die case heard by the US Supreme Court.


Product Code: 9780143116752
ISBN: 0143116754
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2010-01-26
Number of Pages: 222 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1
Dimension: 5 x 0.71 x 7.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 0.55 pounds