Dementia: a shortened good-bye
The attached article, written by a blogger in the UK, is straight-forward and thought provoking – it should be.
I live in Washington state, and I am glad that Death with Dignity is a legal option assuming all the legal requirements are met. This is a very personal subject matter, as is the choice that individuals will make to seize the opportunity, or to reject the opportunity. There is definitely a separate element of this option when the law is utilized for those with dementia. When is someone still capable of making the decision?
A non-profit in my state, Compassion & Choices of Washington, is an excellent resource for materials and information. They have even developed an Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Mental Health Directive – a first-of-its-kind directive that allows people – while still competent – to document their wishes related to who will provide their care, where care will be provided, how it will be financed, how to deal with difficult behaviors that may arise, and many other matters that both caregiver and patient face. Bless all of you who face this horrific disease that has no effective treatment, and certainly no cure.
4 thoughts on “Dementia: a shortened good-bye”
July 7, 2013 at 8:49 am
Totally agree with you.
July 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm
Thank you so much for directing people to my article, as well as your own thoughtful remarks on it. I do want to make one small correction, though. I actually live in the U.S., in the great state of Ohio. I do feel this is a subject that we’re going to be hearing more and more about, as the number of people diagnosed with dementia rises in coming years, and also as we get better and better at recognizing the various forms of dementia. As someone who works in the healthcare industry, the subject of informed consent is one that is constantly being discussed,, and new ideas and opinions are expressed rather often. Just what criteria are we going to use to determine when someone with dementia is able to give informed consent, whether it be to refuse a medication or to end a life? A question I’m not ready to answer just yet.
July 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm
I apologize for my errant location designation. What is so important, however, is that there is an open dialogue regarding this issue – an issue where being judgmental has no place. No one can speak for someone else in this situation, as it appears that you agree.
July 7, 2013 at 2:59 am
As someone who works in the healthcare industry, my job is to give patients as much information as they need to make an informed decision for themselves. It’s not my place to tell them what I think is “right.”