Being Proactive about what you will and won’t accept as recommended treatment.
Butler, Katy “The Ultimate End of Life Plan”, Wall Street Journal September 6, 2013. This is adapted from her 2013 book, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The path to a better way of Death”.
In 2010 Katy Butler published an essay about her father’s death which articulated the many problems she encountered in obtaining for him the care that he wanted. For a variety of reasons it was not what he received. Butler’s mother was profoundly impacted by this experience and elected to proactively manage her own passing by turning down opportunities for surgery – a decision which was based on her knowledge of the complications of heart surgery for someone her age.
The essay is both an homage to her mother and a realistic description of the good but less than ideal death that her mother experienced.
Read with an eye to what you would do if you were faced with the same choices of surgery which might extend your life but also might seriously compromise your life.