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Aging and Dying As a Crescendo at the End of Life

My godson (a thoughtful, kind and generous young man) has just shared a TED Talk with me. It’s about palliative care and our need to re-think and re-design our approaches to dying …. the systems as well as the bricks and mortar. We need a design that embodies caring, compassion, dignity, and beneficence…a design that celebrates life…

You’re all grown-up when…. it’s all up to you

  Remember being sixteen, getting your driver’s licence and thinking you were all grown- up? The card in your wallet brought freedom, as long as the gas tank was full when you returned the car to your parents’ garage. That feeling of being grown-up may have lasted until you lost your virginity. In fifteen minutes…

Thank you to the Canadian Medical Association and Macleans Magazine

Across the country, Canadians were given a forum to discuss end-of-life care,  thanks to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Macleans. The Town Hall style meetings were an inspired idea. I attended the meeting in Mississauga and was pleased to see the combination of structure and informality in the program. Participants could come away with a common vocabulary,…

We Can Do Better

“Forget about planning your funeral; begin planning your end of life!”  That was the first response to my question, “What was your ‘takeaway’ from reading Autumn’s Grace?” as a recent discussion with The Neighbours’ Book Club was winding down. There were nods around the room. The speaker continued, “I have started talking with the people…

Rants and Rabbit Holes

Once again I find myself in the midst of writing a story about something that incites my passion. This time it is elder care. But before I know it’s happening, I have ranted my way down a rabbit hole, and find myself figuratively peering up, saying, “How do I get out of here?” Writing about…

A Compassionate Canadian Proposal For A Death With Dignity

Some weeks ago I noted that Quebec’s Bill 52 – An Act Respecting End-of-Life-Care has gathered and polarized public debate. The Bill begins to provide the legislative framework for a death with dignity. However, it raises flags for those of us who have been concerned about the issue. A colleague and friend of mine in Montreal, Lorine…

A Full Life to the End

Wall Street Journal Saturday/Sunday, September 7-8, 2013 The Ultimate End-of-Life Plan How one woman fought the medical establishment and avoided what most Americans fear: prolonged, plugged-in suffering By Katy Butler author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death,” to be published Sept. 10 by Scribner. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324577304579054880302791624.html?KEYWORDS=A+full+Life+to+the+end&cb=logged0.34060677189703203 death with dignityhospice carepalliative…