I was privileged to read a galley proof of this book in January of 2019. The book will be released February 19, 2019 and is published by Scribner.
Butler has written a comprehensive guide to end of life incorporating many practical suggestions for the reader’s consideration. The book may be of equal or even greater value to adult children of aging parents who often find themselves in the position of helping to make very difficult decisions.
Chapters include, among others, gently encourage slowing down, developing an acceptance of mortality, the house of cards (when we become more fragile and less resilient), accepting hospice, and active dying. She has structured the chapters to begin with invitations to reflect on oneself at the beginning of chapter as well as some practical next steps at the end to take based on the content of the chapter.
Butler does address some aspects of advanced medical directives (especially the importance of them) but does not spend as much time on the details and implications of choices as I do. But she does cover a much broader consideration of the practical issues than anything I’ve read. It will be a useful reference for planning.
I highly recommend this book as a useful resource for aging adults. Watch for its release!
The video that accompanies this post is of an 82 year old woman a former nun and philosophy professor who has decided to have a medical assist in dying.
Your first response is likely to be one of shock. She has been ravaged by cancer and the treatments to stop it. She is choosing to end her life and her rationale and logic are clear. Making a choice to treat cancer has consequences which can cure you, devastate your quality of life, or even kill you.
Watch this with an eye towards what you would choose if you were impacted by cancer and had exhausted your options. In nine states in the US you can make this choice, in others it would not be permitted. There are forces actively working to make it impossible for anyone to ask for relief from their suffering. Among them is one member of the Supreme Court (Justice Gorsuch) who has written a book opposing Medical Assistance in Dying. If you believe that this is a right (as a substantial majority of those polled do, express your opinions as a constituents to both local and congressional leaders. Support Compassion and Choices, a national organization which is actively advocating for the right to die.