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The long goodbye Planning for end of life issues
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We all know that when a child is born, perhaps 80 years later that baby, hopefully after a full and happy life, will pass from this life.
Death is not something we like to discuss in our youth worshipful nation.
But, end-of-life issues are bankrupting this country. Between Social Security and Medicare, our nation’s youth, if we continue on the same path, will not enjoy the same benefits as the elderly of today.
First of all, we must respect our elderly for the contributions they have made to this country. Between wars and depressions, these people have endured great obstacles, overcame them, and as a whole, prospered.
But planning for their and our eventual death is something we like to avoid discussing.
This is not respectful.
A will and living will along with funeral wishes are an important part of planning for the families’ survivors. It will avoid conflicts at a time of heightened emotion. The death of a loved one is always difficult, whether it was expected or unexpected.
Even healthy young people die unexpectedly from accidents and car wrecks.
Adults of every age should have a will as a courtesy. Even for a small estate, fulfilling the wishes of a deceased person becomes much easier if there is a will. Death is inevitable, but when it becomes a sign of failure, it becomes a problem.
Doctors recently released 45 wasteful medical tests. Choosing wisely is good judgment, not ending care. Communication should be encouraged so that unnecessary procedures that will prolong life for only a few days can be avoided.
It is easier to have those conversations while one is young and healthy —  conversations about DNR orders, and who will be the medical power of attorney.
It will take a cultural shift. Many want to prolong life at any cost even sometimes for people in severe pain. We have got to come  up with a more humane way to deal with death.
Hospice care is a wonderful way to handle end-of-life issues. They treat the pain, but allow death to come naturally.
But when the quality of life is poor, when the wish to live is gone and there is no hope for improvement, it is time to let nature run its course.
Karen La Pierre