Soul Service: A Hospice Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Care for the Dying - A Deeper Level of Consciousness to Dying

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Death as a Reciprocal Life Experience

Do we deprive people of having a good death? If you can choose, what kind of death do you want? What would you want the experience to be like? There is now more attention given to the matter in books, movies, and documentaries, resulting in a change on how we view death and how we make choices that affect that experience.In the sense that death is a reciprocal event, no one dies alone when they are involved in an end of life care program. Death has the power to give and receive service at both ends of the spectrum. Those who die reap the benefit of those who care for them; those who care for them reap the benefit and honor of sharing this shattering and illuminating life event with those who undergo the dying process. It is comforting to the dying patient and rewarding to the caregiver.

2 Comments to Death as a Reciprocal Life Experience:

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Brian Tucker on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:47 AM
I think there is in today's medicine too much emphasis on prolonging life at the expense of a 'quality' death. If one prefers to have a say in one's end-of-life treatment, a Living Will can help guide your medical treatment along the lines you specify, even after you lose the ability to communicate. I would prefer the ability to end my life painlessly if I so choose, but that is not an option in the US today. I would like this option to be accompanied by counseling to try and ensure a 'good' decision, but ultimately one's life is one's own, right down to the ending. For those who cannot contemplate this option, good palliative care would beat what's happening in the UK today - patients are left to dehydrate to death in a hospital bed (since you die from thirst long before you starve). Opiates are among the finest of drugs for alleviating pain and suffering - they should be freely available to the dying, and on their own treatment regimen, not controlled by others.
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Christine Cowgill on Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:15 AM
Brian: Thank you for your comment. Death in our country is currently not much of a natural process. I would encourage all of us to get more involved in our treatment and certainly our decisions about how to die. I believe in good pain control and excellent emotional support along the end of life path.

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