Death vs. Life: One Size Does Not Fit All

March 27, 2015 10:54 PM

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Death vs. Life: One Size Does Not Fit All

I am a strong proponent of allowing people to die with dignity when their time comes, or when they so choose. This seems in stark contrast to my life's profession as a resuscitation science researcher and clinician. My area of interest and professional background focuses on cardiac arrest (when your heart stops beating and you are clinically dead), and bringing people back from death; think Lazarus but on a less biblical scale. But having been a critical care nurse for many years, I am also a fierce proponent of allowing people to "die with dignity" and on their own terms. The suffering that can occur for patients and families during those last days, weeks, and months of an illness, to me, can be paramount to cruel and unusual punishment.

In the U.S. over 2,500,000 people die annually, that is more than 7,000 people a day. Yet we, the general public, seem to have a visceral aversion to even the mere thought of death, and will do whatever we can to prevent the inevitable. But as the wise Benjamin Franklin said "In this world nothing c...

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