Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Neurosurgeon’s Crisis

What would you do if you were a 36 year old Neurosurgeon finishing a grueling 6 year training program at Stanford, a rising superstar, married, but just diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer? The cancer is treatable but not curable. The future is unknown.
Would you complete your training despite the pain and treatment side effects? Would you go into counselling with your wife? Would you write a best seller memoir? Would you father your first child? Would you talk about life, death, and God in your beautiful seemingly effortless prose honed by your Master of Arts in English Literature?
Well Dr. Paul Kananithi did it all in his beautiful book, “When Breath Becomes Air.” Be prepared to shed some tears as you are given remarkable insight into this young couple's journey as they face the inevitable. In short, this book becomes a reaffirmation of life as it faces death.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mentally ill - a death with dignity in Holland


From Aeon: "Doctor-assisted suicide for the chronically mentally ill is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, despite being one of the most contentious points in the ongoing right-to-die debate. Letting You Go follows one such Dutch patient, 27-year-old Sanne, who, after nearly a decade of pursuing treatments for her chronic depression, insomnia and borderline personality disorder, has chosen to end her suffering and pursue a planned death. While clearly shaken, Sanne’s father has made the difficult decision to stand by his daughter’s choice, reasoning ‘she couldn’t, and shouldn’t, do this alone’. Unflinching, honest and humane, the Dutch director Kim Faber’s film is both a moving portrait of father and daughter, and an intimate look at one of the most controversial medical ethics issues of our times. The film played at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2014 and AFI DOCS film festival in 2015."
This is the scenario I'm concerned about. Should we simply support the wishes of anyone who wants to die? Is this the "slippery slope" that critics of physician assisted death have noted? Do you have comments after watching this hard to watch video? 

The funeral as we know it is becoming a relic — just in time for a death boom

By   Karen Heller April 15 Ed note: Funerals are changing in ways that will bring culture shock and a shake of the head of s...