The author of this poignant, yet forthright article is an emergency physician with almost 25 years of experience, caring for thousands upon thousands of elderly patients. He shares with us his insight as to how we as a society have transitioned away from a peaceful, meaningful death among loved ones and familiarity to a sterile, cold environment filled with strangers and strange noises…
The truth is, nearly 50% of the US population over the age of 60 die in institutions rather than their own homes. A well-written and thought provoking essay, worthy of passing on for your consideration. Where do you want to be when the time comes to shed your physical body? Are the “life” extending, medically-assisted options worth it?
The following is written by Louis Profera, M.D:
I Know You Love Me-Now Let Me Die
In the old days, she would be propped up on comfy pillow, in fresh cleaned sheets under the corner window where she would in days gone past watch her children play. Soup would boil on the stove just in case she felt like a sip or two. Perhaps the radio softly played Al Jolson or Glenn Miller, flowers sat on the nightstand, and family quietly came and went. These were her last days. Spent with familiar sounds, in a familiar room, with familiar smells that gave her a final chance to summon memories that will help carry her away. She might have offered a hint of a smile or a soft squeeze of the hand but it was all right if she didn’t. She lost her own words to tell us that it’s OK to just let her die, but she trusted us to be her voice and we took that trust to heart.