“Getting It Right At The End Of Life”

This personal story about the author’s terminally ill mother illustrates the importance of making your end-of-life wishes known and legally supported.


When—just a few days after her eighty-ninth birthday—my mother was diagnosed with a colorectal mass (we would later learn it was cancerous), she restated to me what I long knew to be her fervent wish: no treatment of any kind beyond symptom relief. NO invasive procedures, NO chemo or radiation, NO life-prolonging treatments. NONE! She wanted only one thing: to spend the rest of her days, however many or few there were to be, in her apartment in her lively and supportive community. My job was simply to help make sure her wishes were honored. As it turned out, this was not so simple at all. Just days after the initial diagnosis, despite my mother’s long-standing, clearly stated, and just-repeated wish, I found myself reluctantly making an appointment for a preoperative examination with a surgeon for a procedure to reroute her intestine around the mass. How had we ever come to even consider this?

The full article is here:


Getting It Right At The End Of Life
by Dina Keller Moss
Health Affairs
July 2017; Volume 36, Issue 7

Worth reading!