Next Avenue – Why You Need a Health Care Proxy and How to Choose One

By Debbie Reslock Source: NextAvenue How would you finish this sentence? “The end-of-life care I would want is …” Would you want all possible measures taken? To be in a hospital or at home? Surrounded by family and friends? Once you’ve decided, now imagine arriving at an emergency room unable to speak or tell anyone what you want. [...]

2018-01-02T19:44:38+00:00June 2nd, 2017|

An Intensive Care Doctor Advises How to Soothe the Senses of a Dying Loved One

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: The Washington Post I once walked into the room of a dying patient to hear a game show blaring on television. The sound of the buzzer, slapped down by eager contestants, was jarring in this room from which a soul would soon depart. This program probably had been left on by someone [...]

2017-10-23T19:40:49+00:00May 31st, 2017|

Honesty Is The Best Policy

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Psychology Today The machines in my patient’s hospital room whirred away, compensating for her heart, lung, and kidney failure.  She had grown so dependent on the machines that when her husband eventually requested she be disconnected from them, she died within minutes. Her cancer was so advanced that it had infiltrated almost [...]

2017-10-23T21:55:28+00:00May 22nd, 2017|

US News – How to Ensure Your Medical Wishes Are Followed if You’re Critically Ill and Incapacitated

By Ruben Castaneda Source: U.S. News It happens every day in the intensive care units of hospitals throughout the country: Physicians ask the loved ones of someone kept alive by a ventilator and other medical devices whether the patient would want to live hooked up to machines. Or, would the patient prefer to forgo extreme life-prolonging measures for palliative care, in [...]

2018-01-02T19:44:56+00:00May 15th, 2017|

Death Over Dinner

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Well Being Journal ​​In my family, death is a common topic at the dinner table. So common, in fact, that it’s sure to induce an eye roll from one of my children. “Pass the potatoes” might come right after “Sheila’s dad just got put on a breathing machine, and he doesn’t seem to have more than a [...]

2017-10-13T20:32:14+00:00March 1st, 2017|

How to Die Well

By Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Time Magazine I first met Stephanie in the Intensive Care Unit. She was an urgent admission — in shock, her blood pressure was almost unmeasurable. Over the previous month, the rate of cancerous fluid building up around her lungs had increased. She had used the permanent drainage tube in her chest wall more [...]

2017-10-23T22:01:04+00:00February 27th, 2017|

How to Make Decisions About Death For a Loved One

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: San Francisco Chronicle Ariel Sharon, the 11th prime minister of Israel, died Jan. 11 after spending eight years in a coma on life support. Gilad Sharon proudly asserted that his father was a fighter until the end, outlasting doctors' expectations by two weeks. This final act, he implied, embodied Sharon's tendency to defy [...]

2017-10-23T23:13:39+00:00January 17th, 2014|