At What Age is One Old Enough to Make Healthcare Decisions?

The article in the The Atlantic is what I came across both yesterday and today on LinkedIn. A 17-year-old girl is being forced to accept treatment that she does not want. Cassandra C. was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September 2014. The disease infiltrates essential components of the body’s immune system, specifically weakening the lymphatic tissue, which helps fight infection. Though fatal, patients often have a high survival rate with early treatment. Yet, Cassandra was adamantly against treatment from the beginning, according to the Hartford Courant. Her mother (Fortin) supported her decision….

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#Cancer, #EndOfLife, #Healthcare, #Treatment

Death Midwifery and Home Funerals: Death is too Medicalized

Death Midwifery and Home Funerals
By Cassandra Yonder
This piece is an excerpt from the upcoming book: Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, written, compiled, and edited by Victoria Brewster, MSW and Julie Saeger Nierenberg, MA Ed with an anticipated release date of Spring 2015.

A social movement has arisen in response to the cultural alienation we feel from death and dying. As the sick and dying members of our families and communities are institutionalized, death itself is “medicalized,” and post-death care is undertaken by strangers outside our homes. Indeed, we have come to recognize ourselves as a death-denying society.

Just as the slow food movement brings communities back in touch with the production and distribution of their own food in a small, local, familiar market, and birth midwifery empowers women to reclaim the labour and delivery of their own babies, death midwifery reminds us how to be present for those who are at the end of life and how to care for our own dead.

One might even say that death midwifery is to palliative care as the slow food movement is to large-scale agriculture and as birth midwifery is to obstetrics….

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#Death, #Dying, #EndOfLife, #Midwifery, #SocialWork

Assisted Dying as Controversial as Abortion?

Assisted Dying is a topic one sees all over social media, blog posts, and in the news; although other terms used are assisted suicide, euthanasia, dying with dignity, and dying in dignity.
In June, Quebec became the first province to pass legislation which will come into effect later this year.  Although the wording is “respecting end of life care,” it is a step in the right direction….

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#Abortion, #AssistedDying, #EndOfLife, #Legislation

End-of-Life Discussion Group for Professionals on LinkedIn

A colleague of mine is an author and has written a book regarding the process of her father’s death. She receives many requests and suggestions regarding the need for a professional ‘support’ group, or a place where dialogue can occur among professionals on the topic of death. This is why I have created the End-of-Life Discussion Group for Professionals. It is a group for professionals to share with one another on the topic of death, dying and end-of-life; whether from a personal perspective or professional one.

We can all learn from one another by sharing stories, articles, blog posts and research. But often what is missing is the ability to ‘vent’ the difficulties professionals face in their role working with individuals who are dying, diagnosed with chronic health conditions or a progressive health issue or illness….

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#EndOfLife, #LinkedIn, #SocialWork, #SupportGroup

End-of-Life Care & Discussions

This is an article worth reading in The Windsor Star on End-of-Life Care. This area is only going to continue to grow as more and more enter the 65+demographic. What is holding health professionals and helping professionals back from bringing this issue to the forefront?…

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#Death, #Dying, #EndOfLife, #SocialWork

Advice For Dealing With The Death of a Client or Patient

It is always hard as a professional to lose a client because of death. While death is a fact of life, part of the life cycle; remember that to be born, one must die, and it is never easy. I work with seniors and older/adults and this is something that I face all the time as do many in the…
Advice For Dealing With The Death of a Client or Patient

‘The Conversation’

As professionals we are sometimes the ones to lead the conversation with clients, patients and their families. This is not the conversation you would have with your kids about the ‘birds and bees’, but another conversation that is really meant for and between adults. This does not mean that…
“The Conversation”