Being Mortal

Being Mortal

is something all

human beings

share.

Most, if not all of us

ignore the reality.

When and how we die

is perhaps one of the

mysteries

we don’t like to think about.

Being Mortal is

a best-selling book

written by a physician, the son of two physicians.

Composed of profiles of people

who are faced with illnesses,

they and their families

often are faced with

decisions about how much medication,

how much  technology

they might choose to use

to prolong life.

Some choices

may lead to

a poor quality of life.

When faced with his father’s illness,

the author, his mother and his father-

physicians all

did not find talking about these choices

and making choices about treatment

any easier

than most people.

The Conversation Project,

available to all on-line

gives an outline for individuals and families

to begin talking about these most challenging and

painful decisions.

Using “extraordinary means” at one time

meant feeding and hydration

and was not required by some religious practices.

Twenty years ago,

when I had to have a conversation

with my mother

I started by saying

“When Daddy’s patients died, they died,

but now sometimes, a person can be brought back to life.”

She replied,” I want anything that can be done

be done. I still have things to do in my life.”

Now,

there are so many more things

that can be done

to extend life,

the choices can be

less clear.

A Conversation with

family and loved ones

can prepare

everyone

to honor the person’s choices.