The one piece of the puzzle that did not fit for us was our expectations of palliative care based on the book, which suggested that the palliative care dr and social worker could help us with the difficult conversations we needed to have a bridge between the oncologist and the family In our setting, we found palliative care to be focused on alleviating symptoms rather than helping with the difficult conversations.
So we relied on the book and our family had many conversations about when to get off the wheel of care.
Thank you Samuel Harrington.
Why do they nail coffins shut To fully understand the answer, lay people, like me, need to know a lot that we don t about the medical conveyor belt that can take over, and ruin, our final stage of life.
There is a resource for this, which proves, through this book, to be Harrington He is an incisive oracle who synthesizes his parents end of life course, his medical career, and his long involvement with a non profit hospice organisation, into clear communication for the rest of us.
I was raised by a physician who was raised by a physician, and I know that there is nothing Dr Harrington says that either of them would have been surprised by, much less disagree with The problem is that this subject has been inaccessible to us non physicians, and we need the information and guidance.
On the coffin lids, there is a punchline in At Peace which I won t steal There is also 250 pages of very readable narrative that will make you understand the joke, and thereby equip you to ably serve your family and yourself.
You will be sending copies to your friends.
Walter Dandy The Authoritative, Informative, And Reassuring Guide On End Of Life Care For Our Aging Population Most People Say They Would Like To Die Quietly At Home But Overly Aggressive Medical Advice, Coupled With An Unrealistic Sense Of Invincibility Or Overconfidence In Our Health Care System, Results In The Majority Of Elderly Patients Misguidedly Dying In Institutions Many Undergo Painful Procedures Instead Of Having The Better And Peaceful Death They Deserve At Peace Outlines Specific Active And Passive Steps That Older Patients And Their Health Care Proxies Can Take To Ensure Loved Ones Live Their Last Days Comfortably At Home And Or In Hospice When Further Aggressive Care Is Inappropriate Through Dr Samuel Harrington S Own Experience With The Aging And Deaths Of His Parents And Of Working With Patients, He Describes The Terminal Patterns Of The Six Most Common Chronic Diseases How To Recognize A Terminal Diagnosis Even When The Doctor Is Not Clear About It How To Have The Hard Conversation About End Of Life Wishes How To Minimize Painful Treatments When To Seek Hospice Care And How To Deal With Dementia And Other Special Issues Informed By Than Thirty Years Of Clinical Practice, Dr Harrington Came To Understand That The American Health Care System Wasn T Designed To Treat The Aging Population With Care And Compassion His Work As A Hospice Trustee And Later As A Hospital Trustee Drove His Passion For Helping Patients Make Appropriate End Of Life Decisions.
I found this book to be a clear and calm explanation of the end of life process what happens to the body from within and without The author, a physician, is refreshingly practical, sensitive, and humble I have read the book once with interest, and will keep it as a reference it is well indexed and the resource list is very useful.
At Peace is a must read Dr Harrington provides in his book basic and essential information relating to the processes of aging and disease progression He also explains how one can profoundly enhance the chances of achieving a peaceful death Dr Harrington s book brings to mind a famous old saying Give no to death, than death itself and sets forth a scholarly path for confronting that moment in life which comes to all of us.
Before reading At Peace on the advice of a friend, I had already done my homework to avoid over aggressive care at the end of my life I d given copies of my advance directives to my doctor, lawyer and family, discussed my wishes with loved ones, and figured Dr Harrington s book would affirm I had nothing left to do I was wrong.
There was so much to consider, if not for me, perhaps for someone I cared about For example, what to expect when a chronic condition takes a downward spiral, how to recognize when a doctor isn t being clear about a terminal diagnosis, or critical details that might be added to a living will beyond what the form requires The author also describes natural comfort measures that can be taken at the end of life, the special challenges of dementia, and the phenomena of denial and invincibility that can prolong futile care.
Importantly, as he weaves his parents stories into his considerable clinical experience, Dr Harrington never loses sight of the basic human yearning for control and dignity This sensitively written book is a practical resource to help readers attain just that.
How can you write a book with this title without discussing assisted suicide s pluses and minuses I do not care what position the author takes on the issue but the subject is worthy of exploration Several states and few entire countries now allow it so they think so.
This book is simply very incomplete.
This is an important and timely book Having helped my husband have a good death , with Dr Harrington s and hospice support, I am recommending this book to everyone I know This is a book for those who wish to resist overnedicalization at the end of life, and those who support them I m hoping to organize small groups to discuss this book.
I wish this book had been available 15 years ago when my father was dying He spent three months in various hospitals receiving ever invasive procedures My mother and I accepted them on the doctors recommendations, thinking we were doing the right thing As a result, my father s suffering was prolonged and my mother was a wreck by the time my father died Dr Harrington s book comes too late for my parents, but others will surely benefit from his wisdom This is must reading for every baby boomer actually for everyone It is empowering and reassuring.