One of the beautiful things about a terminal illness is you are invited into the present, and your friendships become stronger. Your loved ones become more vital and more present. Each day becomes more beautiful. You walk through the valley of the shadow, and it’s riddled with light.
Every summer, first-year medical students from throughout Maryland gather with family members of people who donated their bodies to science.
Terminally ill patients exercise their “right to die” when they want their suffering to end, but what about those who want to live? A British court ruled that a doctor can decide when to terminate a patient’s life. Leslie Burke suffers from cerebral ataxia and will eventually lose his ability to speak and swallow, yet he is concerned that doctors will choose to end his life against his wishes. More
Read Bob Abernethy’s full interview with William Sloane Coffin.
There is a moral issue that is facing and dividing many families: what to do when someone you love is in what doctors call a persistent vegetative state. Is it best to withdraw the feeding tube, despite the objections of others? Or do you keep alive indefinitely someone doctors say will never recover?
In the aftermath of 9/11, away from the headlines, families were dealing with their very private and personal grief. Many of those who lost loved ones turned to their faith for comfort and answers.
A new report from the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government on health policy, calls on the U.S. to do far more than is now being done to relieve the suffering of dying children and their families. Doctors and families face a dilemma in trying to choose between painful treatment that is unlikely to work and palliative care to make possible a so-called “good death.” More
A profile of a man who knows a great deal about poetry and a great deal about funerals. He is Thomas Lynch, writer and mortician, and each of his vocations enriches the other.