Browsing All posts tagged under »Death«

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman: Still Going Strong Six Years After Cancer Diagnosis

December 26, 2016

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

If You’re Uploaded to a Cyber-Existence, Are You Still You?

June 27, 2016

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Ever since seeing the transporter on the original Star Trek, I have wondered:  if your molecules are disassembled here and an exact copy of you is reconstructed somewhere else out of other molecules, are you really still you?  I have my doubts, enough that should teleportation ever become feasible, I don’t think I’d have the […]

The Gift of Nina

March 23, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Death is a part of life.  We must accept that.  .  . and do.  We find that the joys jointly shared will become the emotions that will remain with us forever.  Nina remains in my heart.  . and always will. My thoughts leap out.  I find it rare to find a woman — […]

Death With Dignity: Why Should Religion Be Allowed to Butt In?

October 10, 2014

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I would not tell anyone else that he or she should choose death with dignity. My question is: Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice? That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain? Why should anyone have the right to […]

Women Beware: Your Living Will May Be Ignored, and Your Family’s Finances Devastated

January 13, 2014

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If you are even one day pregnant and suffer a medical catastrophe that renders you brain-dead, your wishes, even  in a written living will, might not be honored.  Depending on where you live (or are hospitalized), your empty husk could be kept marginally alive, at your family’s great and unwilling expense, until your fetus can […]

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman

December 23, 2013

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

Mark and the Deer

November 25, 2013

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How a dead deer brought up memories of a friend As I have written before, we live in one of the few quasi-rural areas left in the DC vicinity.  We get a lot of wildlife in close quarters here – foxes, groundhogs, possums, raccoons, deer – and I think we see them so often because […]

The Hunt for Immortality: Just Stop

August 19, 2013

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Achieving actual, biological immortality – or even just a relatively modest increase in average human lifespans – would be an unmitigated disaster. Once again in the news, we see stories of scientists studying the genetic makeup of strangely afflicted children who never seem to age.  Not only do they appear not to age, they never […]

Joan Larsen: The Gift of Nina

July 3, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   My most special friend died yesterday afternoon.  She was walking down the stairs in her home, but suddenly said she would have to sit down on the stair where she was.  She did. . . and, in an instant, she was gone. She left us bereft beyond reason.  She also left […]

If You’re Uploaded to a Cyber-Existence, Are You Still You?

June 20, 2013

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Ever since seeing the transporter on the original Star Trek, I have wondered:  if your molecules are disassembled here and an exact copy of you is reconstructed somewhere else out of other molecules, are you really still you?  I have my doubts, enough that should teleportation ever become feasible, I don’t think I’d have the […]

On Faith, Reality, and Failure to Protect One’s Children

June 13, 2013

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Relying on God to fulfill your parental responsibilities is arrogant, childish… and fatal As USA Today reports, yet another family has lost a child to illness as a result of relying on prayer over medicine.  This was the second such loss for this family.  One would think, after Herbert and Catherine Schaible lost their two-year-old […]

Burial, Belief, and the Forgotten

May 6, 2013

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It is only the mourners who believe in the sanctity of any particular grave… or person. The Jamestown colony certainly had a rough start in those early years of 1607-1610 or so, and cannibalism was described in various chronicles of the time.  Recently, archaeologists discovered hard evidence that supports that history: the bones of a […]

Mourning Should Not Be “Medicalized”

December 31, 2012

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Back at the beginning of December, we looked at some of the upcoming changes to the DSM-5 and what impacts they could have on patients with certain diagnoses… and now, there may be an impact for those who do not have any diagnosis.  Not yet, anyway, but the American Psychiatric Association is working on that. […]

Briana Baran, 1959 -2012: Some Souls Burn More Brightly

October 19, 2012

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Some souls just burn more brightly than others; they are more there than most.  Intense.  Briana Baran was one such soul.  I never met her, never heard her voice, never saw her picture.  I only knew her through an internet forum, where I would eagerly seek out her avatar.  But oh, how brightly she burned! […]

Health Care: “Patient” is a Dirty Word

October 18, 2012

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At age 89, congestive heart failure finally caught up to Dad.  We spent that last night with him in the hospital.  Then my brother went home to get the paperwork for the crematorium to pick up his body.  Dad had always been the consummate planner, and this was no exception. I didn’t want to leave […]

A Scary Farewell to Andy Griffith

July 5, 2012

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I wasn’t exactly surprised to hear of Andy Griffith’s death at age 86, although it did seem sort of sudden.  Well, of course it seemed sudden, because we didn’t know anything about his day-to-day life, and properly so.  Eighty-six years is a good long run, one he stuffed chock-full of living.  But what struck me […]