A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
"This is horrible, just horrible." "Can't we do something else for him?"
My mother-in-law, my wife, and her sister were saying these things as
we were waiting for my father-in-law Al to die. Their words surprised me because
our family, along with Al and his physician, had orchestrated what I considered
"a peaceful death" for Al. Our deathbed vigil was not taking place with him
on a ventilator in some intensive care unit, surrounded by strangers and high-tech
equipment. Al was at home, with his wife, two daughters, and two sons-in-law
taking turns providing hands-on care with the assistance of home hospice.
Four grandchildren played on the bed with their Pa Al when he felt up to it.
Sachs GA. Sometimes Dying Still Stings. JAMA. 2000;284(19):2423. doi:10.1001/jama.284.19.2423