All of us bring many different perspectives to the issue of death. Thinking what a good death would be is the first step to making it happen, or increasing the chances that it will happen for us.
The excellent Grattan Institute report, Dying Well, says (page 8):
The critical issue for people, which will be reinforced as baby boomers age, is choice.
Do you agree?
The report also refers to a list of the principles of a good death by Richard Smith, in an article in the British Medical Journal in 2000 when he was Editor.
Are these the principles that what would be on your list?
“Principles of a good death
- To know when death is coming, and to understand what can be expected
- To be able to retain control of what happens
- To be afforded dignity and privacy
- To have control over pain relief and other symptom control
- To have choice and control over where death occurs (at home or elsewhere)
- To have access to information and expertise of whatever kind is necessary
- To have access to any spiritual or emotional support required
- To have access to hospice care in any location, not only in hospital
- To have control over who is present and who shares the end
- To be able to issue advance directives which ensure wishes are respected
- To have time to say goodbye, and control over other aspects of timing
- To be able to leave when it is time to go, and not to have life prolonged pointlessly.”