The BEST Way to Say Goodbye – Recommendation from Sue Gilmer, ’16

Th​is video portrays poignant stories of patients that illustrate the need for diligent, strategic Advance Care Planning:

· Robin Williams: Was a “key factor” in his decision to commit suicide experiencing hallucinations or other symptoms of early Lewy Body Dementia? Might he have suffered from the “Dementia Fear”?

· Brittany Maynard: She admitted this “did not seem like the right time” but then died a few days later. She feared cancer would take away her autonomy: “The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long.” Where there issues she could have worked on to reduce her current suffering, so she could decide to live longer?

· Meryl Comer: As her husband’s caregiver, she considers herself a “POA” (Prisoner of Alzheimer’s). Dr. Gralnick was diagnosed 20 years ago. Yet no professional has ever advised Ms Comer about the ethically accepted method of “Substituted Judgment” to make end-of-life decisions. The new“Consensus of Substituted Judgment” method strives to be more accurate, less stressful, and its protocol has built-in, a way to deal with family conflicts.

· Margaret Bentley: Neither the administrators of her residential care facility nor the court would HONOR the instructions she made in her Living Will, even though they were consistent with the requests made by her husband and daughter—her proxies/agents. Her sad story shows why DILIGENCE is necessary when completing a written Living Will.

· Casey Kasem: His final weeks were plagued with pain and family conflict. The misery of his last chapter of life might have been avoided had he used his (famous) voice to make a strategic audio or video recording on which he stated what he wanted and explained why.

· Gillian Bennett: Was her suicide premature and motivated by the “Dementia Fear”? Would she have decided to live longer if she had known about, and had confidence in a strategic plan to implement Natural Dying—AFTER she reached the stage of Advanced Dementia?

Sadly, many people are led to believe they have ONLY two options: premature dying (so they lose some joyful life) OR prolonged dying (so they are forced to endure more suffering longer). A third option makes premature dying unnecessary, sad, and tragic: Diligent, strategic Advance Care Planning.

This one-hour video can be viewed in two parts. Part 2 begins at minute 36. It includes:

· What is Natural Dying and why is it a peaceful and moral way to die?
· How can you complete a clear, specific Living Will by making “one decision at a time”?
· How can you set up a strategy to feel confident you will get relief from end-of-life pain?
· What can you do to relieve the prolonged suffering of a loved one who now lives with Advanced Dementia—if he never completed a clear and specific Living Will?

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