How to Get the Death You Want
A comprehensive manual for those reaching the end of life, and for their friends, relatives, advocates and caretakers. Abraham describes in detail the challenges faced by those who wish to avoid months or years of painful treatment after losing hope of ever recovering any reasonable quality of life.
- the nature of physical death;
- the legal documents to clarify one’s wishes;
- the need for a strong advocate to have the patient’s wishes honored;
- moral issues that must be considered;
- means of dying painlessly once the decision is made.
- And much more, including how to respond to reluctant doctors, and the value of humor in communicating with a dying patient.
“Whatever your opinions on the right-to-die movement, this is a book you must have in your library. It will help you unlock the complexities of this controversial subject with a treasure-trove of creative insights and practical understanding. Provocative, evocative, and fearless, yet it is very readable with John Abraham’s warmth and humor. Highly recommended!”
— Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, DHL, DD, Author of Living When a Loved One has Died and numerous other best-selling books on death, grieving, and related topics
How to Get the Death You Want
Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death
Author:Dr. Aroop Mangalik
This profoundly empowering book will help people make informed decisions about their lives and medical care, especially those who have a life-threatening or life-changing illness themselves or have a family member living with one. Incorporating specific questions for patients to ask their doctors and discuss with their families, the book provides an analysis of various forces that influence our decision-making. The book also examines the professional, psychological, economic, and social pressures that influence physicians treating seriously ill patients, including those that lead doctors to recommend treatments that may be futile. The book concludes with resources that seriously ill patients and their families can call upon to give them support and assist with the logistical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of end-of-life care.
Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death:
A Guide to Living Well with Serious Illness
Dr. Aroop Mangalik’s book is a masterful, sensitive, and eminently readable discussion of one of life’s great, and always changing, problems: how to think about suffering, dangerous illness, and death. Like it or not, almost all of us will face that situation. His book brings considerable experience and insight to an ancient problem that is forever inescapable.
— Daniel Callahan, cofounder and President Emeritus, The Hastings Center
Drawing on five decades of experience, oncologist Aroop Mangalik succinctly describes the steps patients and families can take to ease the end-of-life passage. With great clarity he shows readers why doctors are prone to over-treat and why the goal of comfort has become so elusive for so many. Dealing with Doctors, Denial and Death is a necessary, welcome guide through the maze of our problematic health care system. Readers will find useful information about CPR, hospice and palliative care, how to reduce non-beneficial treatments and most importantly, what to ask doctors when facing difficult medical choices.
— Sharon R. Kaufman, author of Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longers Lives, and Where to Draw the Line
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From Here to Eternity
Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.
In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.
With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light.
Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular―and, upon close inspection, peculiar―set of "respectful" rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.
Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.