Aging and Wellness Series
Lesson Five: Mortality
QUESTIONS WORTH CONSIDERING
3. “When you think of death, what kind of image comes to your mind? Is it a cold, stiff corpse lying in a coffin waiting to be buried, or is it a freeing of the human soul from the prison of a physical body? Most of us have images of death that are negative and disturbing, and that evoke feelings of fear and anxiety.” - Paul Wong, PhD
5. “Most, but not all, patients pass through five stages between their awareness of serious illness and their death, when they are faced with a potentially fatal illness. The knowledgeable physician, particularly one who is himself comfortable in facing the dying patient, can help these patients pass through one or all of these stages by appropriate verbal and nonverbal support-particularly the support engendered by the patient's realization that his physician will stay with him until the end.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
6. “I learned a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them.” - Atul Gawande
7. “One result of assigning official responsibility for care of the most ill, infirm elderly, and dying people to doctors, nurses, and hospitals and nursing homes has been to distance society’s members from these potent reminders of our own inevitable illness, infirmity, physical dependence, and death. In medicalizing care for ‘the dying,’ individuals with advanced and incurable illness are objectified and an inherently messy process is sanitized.” – (Ira Byock “The Meaning and Value of Death”)
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