In the last two weeks we have discussed the challenges of care-giving and retaining dignity in end of life care, especially for those with intense care-giving trajectories like Alzheimerâ€™s and Dementia. We have also considered in our reading the important issue of death, and planning for end of life care through advanced directives or for some going one step further in choosing when to die. There are a lot of opinions and beliefs around having the legal right to end our lives on our terms and most of the focus is on the effect of the decision on family and whether it is seriously considered. The Last Day of Her Life (Links to an external site.) article is a sensitive and thorough account of the decision to choose when to die, which provides the perspective of the elder who wants to choose to die on their terms.
Please read the article first, and then write your journal, reflecting on the following:
- In your social sphere have you ever had to deal with death and/or the decision of choosing when to end a life? What were some of the challenges of that experience or making the decision? [For some the experience of euthanizing a pet can mirror similar experiences that occur when considering end of life decisions for a human life; so if you have not faced the death of a family member but understand the emotions and end of life decisions around a pet, feel free to share it instead or you can consider your thought processes if a member of your family was near the end of their life].
- Does your culture or belief system form your views on death and end of life decisions? How so?
- How has reading the account of Dr. Bemâ€™s choice to end her life, affected your views on a humanâ€™s right to â€œdie with dignityâ€?
- Do you feel that Dr. Bem considered the consequences of her choice and the affect it would have on her family?
- If a family member or close friend was afflicted with a debilitating condition or was suffering at the end of their life, would you be willing to support their decision to â€œdie with dignityâ€? Why or why not?
The journal response should be three pages in length (including title page) and cover all prompts in the instructions.
[Reminder: Journaling about the topic can help you process your developing views and reflect on your growth as you learn. Unlike a research paper, you do not have to cite references or use APA formatting. Rather, journal assignments are intended to be a presentation of your reflections and thoughts of your development based on the topics and resources of the course.]