A Graceful Exit: Life and Death on Your Own Terms

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Insight Books, 1996 - Medical - 350 pages
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The United States spends an inordinate amount of time and resources on medical care for people near the end of their lives; yet, Americans do not live significantly longer than citizens of other Western countries. What are the motivations of this death-denying culture? How can we deal with the complexities of medical care as life unavoidably comes to a close? How can we resolve the controversies that complicate medical decisions in the presence of advanced age or end-stage disease? A Graceful Exit: Life and Death on Your Own Terms addresses the difficult issue inherent to an aging society - the right to control one's death. Many Americans are executing living wills to be spared the indignities of futile medical treatment. Current living wills, however, have proven to be nearly useless in guiding care. Dr. Lofty Basta, a renowned physician specializing in cardiology, frankly explains that most patients of advanced age or disease are incompetent to make health care decisions, or incapable of evaluating treatment options. This book provides examples of living wills that are clear, valid, and applicable to many medical situations, and is supported by intimate case histories that illustrate various problems. As a sidebar, the author relates how different Western countries are dealing with this controversial issue. A Graceful Exit is a provocative resource to the medical community, hospital administrators or members of ethics committees, politicians, the clergy, civic leaders, and all who wish to control their medical treatment near the end of life.

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A graceful exit: life and death on your own terms

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High-tech medical interventions have helped save countless lives and contribute to increasing human lifespan. However, heroic techniques to prolong life in hopelessly ill patients often turn death ... Read full review


An Ancient Perspective
A Whirlwind History of Technologys Impact

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About the author (1996)

Basta is a cardiologist and cancer patient.

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