Atual Gawande has an excellent article in the New Yorker about end-of-life decisions. “Letting Go” explores how medicine should engage people who are going to die. It explores the successes of hospice care, which, surprisingly, is shown to extend lifespan even as it reduces suffering. It also highlights the changing role of doctors, who are being encouraged to extend a more realistic view of the time that remains instead of fighting a series of scorched-earth battles against new, compounding ailments.
Most importantly, the article is a strong prompt to consider and share your own end-of-life plans. Toward that end, I publicly plead: please don’t have me stuffed or place my brain in a monkey.