The author knows a lot about what happens to people at the end of their lives. His advice is to learn and plan as much as you can *before* you are in that accident or get that terminal diagnosis. He is outraged by the amount of torture done to patients in the name of keeping them alive at all cost, and wants to help people avoid having tubes stuck in every orifice and having a machine breathe for them while they lay there helpless.
He goes through the legal matters like having a DNR- Do Not Resuscitate- order in place, and having someone who has legal control over your treatment if you are incapacitated. He also discusses the limits of what medicine can do in the way of extending quality life, and what things are to be avoided. He outlines the options for making death as pain free and stress free as possible- it’s not perfect, obviously, but it can be better than a lot of people get.
Obviously some of the information is out of date; the book is 16 years old. There are new treatments for many cancers and even for heart failure. There are newer treatments that can extend your life in a quality way. But his suggestion that you learn as much as you can about your illness will show these to you. A valuable book for everyone. We’re all going to die sometime.
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