Better Ways to End It All

With 10 parishioners infirm, sick, or otherwise ailing, I read with great interest Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande is a surgeon who teaches at Harvard and writes wonderful pieces for The New Yorker.

Two takeaways for me from this important book on aging and end-of -life-issues:

***There are new nursing facilities that allow for some independence–even at the risk that patients will fall or otherwise injure themselves. I can’t wait for such a place to open in New York City, where most patients are confined to their wheelchairs most of the day.

***Those with terminal illness can often reduce their discomfort by palliative care. To do so, they forego aggressive treatment that has little chance of healing them. This is certainly a better way to approach death–and, for Christians, to prepare for life with God. —J. Douglas Ousley


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