The Matters of Life & Death Scholarship Writing Contest is accepting applications from high school juniors and seniors in California. The Contest, designed to help students develop awareness of the issues surrounding aid in dying, asks students to write an essay on:
Why should a mentally competent, terminally ill adult family member have the right to choose aid in dying? What would you say to another family member who disagrees?
Students have the opportunity to win up to $1,000 for college. Contest rules and more information can be found at: https://www.compassionandchoices.org/what-you-can-do/in-your-state/california/essay-contest/
The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2014.
By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter
The 80-year-old woman was so riddled with cancer that her entire rib cage snapped as my co-resident performed CPR. We had all known that she would die during this stay in the hospital, but our attending physician had not signed a “Do not resuscitate” order. Without this order, we felt obliged to engage in this final act of futility.
This story didn’t end well. The woman remained dead as we continued to compress her tiny chest and flood her body with chemicals designed to jump-start her heart. By the time we called for the code to end, she lay on the bed, naked and exposed, looking like the victim of an assault.
Getting Personal With Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment Form
By Fran Johns
“You’re sure about that? You just want to lie there and die?”
“Well, yes, thanks. Sounds a lot better to me than vegetating, comatose or whatever, in a nursing home for another three or four years.”
“But … suppose we think you might have a little bit of brain left. Say, you’d be able to recognize me?”
“Nope. Who’s to say it would really be recognition?”
“Okay, then, what if you’re already preƩ y far gone with some kind of dementia a worse than your current inability to remember where you left the car keys?”
“Where did you put that Dementia a Provision form?”
This may not be the sort of everyday conversation you have with your loved one, but it worked for my husband and me as we made order of our late-life planning. The POLST form became a new best friend.