Groundbreaking option in Washington state could let dementia patients refuse spoon-feeding – Seattle Times

Anyone who has watched a terminally ill loved one who refuses to eat, will appreciate this new option. We need to continue to press for death with dignity. If you don’t think this is important you may not have experienced what some homes for the elderly who are mentally not in control will do when they decide that they will keep the patient alive at all costs. This is not a pretty picture of care for the terminally ill, but is all to real today.

A Washington state agency that advocates for medical aid-in-dying has created guidelines for dementia patients who fear losing control not only of their faculties but of their free will to live and die on their terms.

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County offers workshops for survivors – PDN

PORT ANGELES — Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County is kicking off the new year with its biannual series, “Survivors Workshops: Practical Advice for Living Alone.”

The first of four workshops will be Jan. 18. They will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays at the Hospice House at 810 S. Albert St., behind the hospice office on Eighth Street in Port Angeles.

Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death A Guide to Living Well with Serious Illness – New book

A good book for anyone facing end of life issues, and their caretakers (i.e. spouse, children, etc).


Often when death is the inevitable and impending outcome of a health diagnosis, doctors are reluctant to discuss alternatives to treatment, feeding into a culture of denial that can result in expensive, ineffective, and unnecessary over treatment that may or may not extend life but almost always damages the quality of life. Here, a seasoned doctor and researcher looks at the ways in which we are accustomed to treating illness at all costs, even at the expense of the quality of a patient’s life. He considers our culture of denial, the medical profession’s role in over treating patients and end of life care, and the patient’s options and role in these decisions. The goal is to help patients and families make informed decisions that may help the seriously ill live better with their illnesses.

This profoundly empowering book will help people make informed decisions about their lives and medical care, especially those who have a life-threatening or life-changing illness themselves or have a family member living with one. Incorporating specific questions for patients to ask their doctors and discuss with their families, the book provides an analysis of various forces that influence our decision-making. The book also examines the professional, psychological, economic, and social pressures that influence physicians treating seriously ill patients, including those that lead doctors to recommend treatments that may be futile. The book concludes with resources that seriously ill patients and their families can call upon to give them support and assist with the logistical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of end-of-life care.

Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death A Guide to Living Well with Serious Illness

Available from


My Deathbed Playlist (and yours)- NY Times

An interesting article. Having chosen my late wife’s deathbed music I don’t know if I did a great job or not. All I can say is, I would never want to have made a list of my deathbed music at 40, as this writer did, because most of the music from then, while still good music, is nothing I would want to have played before I die. How about you?  Read the article, comments welcome.

Only “live music can be adapted to mirror, match and change with the varying rhythms of the dying process,” she told me. For Ms. Thomae, a patient’s favorite recorded music can be part of a “life review,” and can also help her find the most individually resonant melodies and themes to incorporate into her personalized work.