a. you would probably have died quickly of an infectious disease
b. you would have died in a hospital
c. you would have seen death all around you from a young age
d. you would probably have died at a relatively young age
margaret’s case: we still are disconnected from- and frightened about- the physical reality of death. our euphemisms for death, life “passing away,” clearly show that we still live in a death-denying culture.
2) we want to maximize our psychological security, reduce fear and anxiety and feel in control of how we die
3) we want to enhance our relationships and be as close as possible emotionally to the people we care about most
4) we want to foster our spirituality and have the sense that there was integrity and purpose to our lives
a. people who are dying do not necessarily want to talk about that fact
b. people do not go through “stages” in adjusting to impending death
c. people who are dying simply accept that fact
a. doctors are insensitive to dying patients’ needs
b. doctors feel terribly upset when a patient is dying, but may feel forced to use modern technologies to “prolong” death
martha’s case: we need far more education in end-of-life care. most people, even in the developed world, don’t have access to palliative services. moreover, traditional medicine is cure-oriented, making it difficult to shift to palliative care.
a. an old-old man who lives alone
b. a man with end-stage lung cancer living with his wife and daughters
c. an ethnic minority, first-generation immigrant who has had a stroke
a. feeling close to you and your parents
b. dying at home
2) the existence of medical technologies capable of extending the lives of elderly persons who have lived out a natural lifespan creates no presumption that the technologies must be used for that purpose
a. go for it! the best thing to do is to fill out a living will so you can be sure your preferences will be fulfilled
b. go for it! but you need to regularly discuss your preferences with each of us and complete a durable power of attorney
c. avoid advance directives like the plague because your preferences will never be fulfilled
latoya’s argument: i’m worried that greedy relatives might pressure ill people into deciding to die “for the good of the family” (that is, to save the family money). i believe that legalizing physician-assisted suicide leaves the door open to society deciding to kill people when we think the quality of their life is not good. furthermore, only god can take a life!