July 26, 2010
This is an incredibly important topic, one that is difficult and hard to look at directly. People are afraid of dying and perhaps more afraid of loved ones dying. Medical science and our health care system can do incredible things, but it can also overwhelm the people it is treating and their families.
This New Yorker magazine article discusses at length the idea that we as responsible people need to discuss, well ahead of any illness or disease, the qualities of life that are important to us. Unless we face our own ends now, when they are still abstract and manageable, we won't (most likely) be able to overcome the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that will arise when we are suddenly faced with them later; and the lack of preparedness will be hugely costly in terms of emotional suffering for all involved later.
It is not an easy read, not one that will leave you feeling upbeat or satisfied. But it is a vitally important one, and one I recommend you all take the time to complete.