How do we give our carees (and ourselves) peace at end of life? Dr. Samuel Harrington, author of a new book, At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life, joins us to guide us toward a peaceful end.
Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions while undergoing painful procedures, instead of having a better and more peaceful death they desired.
AT PEACE outlines specific active and passive steps that older patients and their health care proxies can take to insure loved ones pass their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice, when further aggressive care is inappropriate.
Through Dr. Harrington's own experience with his parents and patients, he describes the terminal patterns of the six most common chronic diseases; how to recognize a terminal diagnosis even when the doctor is not clear about it; how to have the hard conversation about end-of-life wishes; how to minimize painful treatments and when to seek hospice care. The current estimated U.S. senior population 65 and older is well over fifty million strong. AT PEACE is a relevant and necessary resource for families across the board. Samuel Harrington, MD, a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, concentrated his practice at Sibley Memorial Hospital. His work as Sibley's patient safety officer representative to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees and his service on the board of a nonprofit hospice in Washington D.C. informed his passion for helping aged patients make appropriate end-of-life decisions.