Category Archives: Death with Dignity

Posts pertaining to the “Death with Dignity” movement, and related issues.

Mortality by Christopher Hitchens (Audiobook)…


Date: March 06, 2019

01) Mortality by Christopher Hitchens (Audiobook)

“This is the complete audiobook Mortality by Christopher Hitchens, narrated by Simon Prebble, with foreword written and narrated by Graydon Carter, and afterword written and narrated by Carol Blue. The book, comprised of seven essays that first appeared in Vanity Fair concerning his struggle with oesophageal cancer, with which he was diagnosed during his 2010 book tour and to which he succumbed in December 2011, was originally published on September 1, 2012.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was an English author, essayist, journalist, and writer of over 30 books, including five collections of essays.”

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New Mexico Lawmakers Weighing Physician-Assisted Death Bill…


Date: February 03, 2019

01) New Mexico Lawmakers Weighing Physician-Assisted Death Bill

02) Direct Download [MP3]

“New Mexico could become the eighth state to allow physician-assisted death for the terminally ill, as lawmakers consider an aid-in-dying bill.

About 20 years ago, a similar law went into effect in Oregon. At the time, University of New Mexico School of Law professor Robert Schwartz was concerned with the bill’s ethics and gray areas.

“I was concerned about how they would play out,” Schwartz tells Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd. “But we have many years of experience — now 20 years in Oregon, many years in Washington, now some years in California and elsewhere, eight jurisdictions that allow aid in dying — and we can see that none of these worries have in fact come to fruition.”

Many of the worries now, he says, aren’t being based in fact. While it was wise to move slowly to implement the law in Oregon when it was first introduced, gathering data along the way, Schwartz says lawmakers should be obliged to use that data now in New Mexico.

“We can see that we really just haven’t had the problems that some thought would come with [an] aid in dying statute,” he says.”


Caring for Babies and Children Who Die…


Date: November 09, 2018

01) Caring for Babies and Children Who Die

“A funeral director’s perspective on caring for babies and children.”

Some children do experience the ugliness of this world, before they die…They’re not all naïve…My one quibble…

I think I understand about the “better off with this death, than a worse death later” point…or having to terribly suffer in life, and being released from that future.

I guess…

…I decided to share this more for the portions with the discussion about the free services…and the portion about allowing relatives to hold and interact with the child.

It’s a little known fact, that people can care for their own dead…so long as they follow the regulations…

…In addition, some funeral homes welcome the relatives in…to be part of preparing the body…to an extent, anyway…I’m sure they send them home, before an embalming.


Flameless Cremation – Water Cremation – Alkaline Hydrolysis Facility and Explanation…


Date: October 07, 2018

01) Flameless Cremation – Water Cremation – Alkaline Hydrolysis Facility and Explanation

“A funeral director chats with a funeral director who runs a flameless cremation facility to understand the process.

Water cremation, flameless cremation, alkaline hydrolysis, resomation”


How Doctors Tell Patients They’re Dying…


Date: June 27, 2018

01) How Doctors Tell Patients They’re Dying | Being Mortal | FRONTLINE

“When Clyde Earle checked into a hospital expecting to return home, his doctor, Kathy Selvaggi, had to deliver some bad news. Our film “Being Mortal” explores issues of death, aging, and what is important in the last days of life.”


Suicide as a Uniquely Human Phenomenon…


Date: June 22, 2018

01) CARTA: Awareness of Death and Mortality: The Lure of Death: Suicide as a Uniquely Human Phenomenon

“(Visit: Nicholas Humphrey gives a sobering look at the uniquely human trait of suicide, its alarming prevalence, and what this means to human biological fitness. Recorded on 03/03/2017. Series: “CARTA – Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny” [Humanities] [Science] [Show ID: 32057]”


Should a dementia patient be able to refuse food and water?…


Date: April 06, 2018

01) Should a dementia patient be able to refuse food and water?

“Just last month, Kaiser Health News reported that End of Life Choices New York has published an “aggressive” new advance directive offering a patient with advanced dementia 2 options: Option A that allows “comfort feeding” if the patient allows it or enjoys it, or option B that forbids all food and drink even if the patient seems to accept it. The form provided is 6 pages long with the first 3 pages providing detailed instructions to the person signing the form.

The conversation about how clients want their life prolonged if diagnosed with dementia is an important one. Taking the next step of writing down their wishes in an advanced directive is absolutely necessary so that caregivers, family and other medical providers are clear on what the person with dementia wants. However (and unfortunately), it is important to stress to clients that even if they put their wishes in writing, there is no guarantee that a facility or medical provider will honor those wishes.”


A Happy Show About Death…


Date: April 04, 2018

01) A Happy Show About Death

“Death is often a taboo subject. But is it subject to be avoided (and an inevitability to be feared)?

Join us for a candid, real, and destigmatizing conversation about our mortal and temporary lives. We’ll speak with listeners about their own perspective, and a professional mortician will take us into the inner room of the funeral home for a frank yet fascinating look at the processes which happen after we’re gone.

This is a podcast about death, but more importantly, it’s a conversation about life!”

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What Does It Mean to Die?…


Date: March 15, 2018

01) What Does It Mean to Die?

“In 1992, Shewmon was asked to consult on the case of a fourteen-year-old boy who, after falling off the hood of a moving car, had been declared brain-dead. The boy’s family was religious and insisted that he remain on a ventilator. His physicians, certain that his heart would soon fail, acceded to his parents’ request. He survived for sixty-three days and began puberty. “This case flew in the face of everything I had been taught regarding the universality and imminence of somatic demise in brain death,” Shewmon later wrote. “It forced me to rethink the whole thing.”

Shewmon began researching similar cases, and found a hundred and seventy-five people, many of whom were children or teen-agers, who lived for months or years after they were legally dead. The longest survivor was a boy who had been declared dead after contracting meningitis, when he was four. His heart beat for twenty more years, during which time he grew proportionally and recovered from minor wounds and infections, even though he had no identifiable brain structure and the outside of his brain had calcified. In 1997, in a paper called “Recovery from ‘Brain Death’: A Neurologist’s Apologia,” Shewmon disavowed his earlier views. He acknowledged that “dissenters from the ‘brain death’ concept are typically dismissed condescendingly as simpletons, religious zealots or pro-life fanatics,” and announced that he was joining their ranks.

Shewmon’s research on what he calls “chronic survival” after brain death helped prompt a new President’s council on bioethics, in 2008, to revisit the definition of death. The council’s report referred to Shewmon’s research thirty-eight times. Although it ultimately reaffirmed the validity of brain death, it abandoned the biological and philosophical justification presented by the 1981 President’s Commission—that a functioning brain was necessary for the body to operate as an “integrated whole.” Instead, the report said that the destruction of the brain was equivalent to death because it meant that a human being was no longer able to “engage in commerce with the surrounding world,” which is “what an organism ‘does’ and what distinguishes every organism from nonliving things.”

In a personal note appended to the end of the report, the chairman of the council, Edmund Pellegrino, expressed regret regarding the lack of empirical precision. He wrote that attempts to articulate the boundaries of death “end in some form of circular reasoning—defining death in terms of life and life in terms of death without a true ‘definition’ of one or the other.”

Very long article…covering a lot…

…This is both amazing, and unnerving.