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January 05, 2011


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Dr. Herb Rogove

Christina hits the bullseye on a topic that should be on everyone's daily menu about meeting the inevitable. We discuss bank accounts, safe deposit banks, lists of our accountants and attorneys names but somehow that personal part of end of life is often neglected. As a patient you have the right to have this discussion front and center with your primary care physician or nurse practitioner. I've noticed oncologists, cancer specialists often have difficulty. My suggestions:
1. Do it early when you are of sound body and mind - yes even when you are young.
2. Research what advance orders are and customize what you would want including dialysis or put on life support breathing machines.
3. Consider life support for a finite time ie. Days or weeks not months or years.
4. Remember it's your life so you can have control over your exit - customize and make it explicit by talking to healthcare professionals, family, and other loved ones.
5. Research your condition if possible to see predictions of outcomes also known as "prognosis".
6. While miracles are nice to think about, please don't use this as a basis to prolong the inevitable - suffering is not dignity.

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