7-25-11: Options at the End of Life

July 25, 2011 at 7:55 am 6 comments

Over the past few months, we’ve been speaking regularly with the writer Dudley Clendinen about how he’s coping with ALS.  We wanted to hear about the options available to patients dealing with terminal illness.  Tom Hall speaks with Dudley’s doctor, Jeffrey Rothstein, who is the Director of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University.  He’s also a professor of neurology there.  He also speaks with Dr. Linda Ganzini, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Oregon Health and Science University.  She’s done research on that state’s assisted suicide law, known as the “Death with Dignity Act.”

Washington State also has an assisted suicide law, but nothing like that exists in Maryland.  Jeff Rothstein talks about the hospice options available here to make the last days of a terminally ill patient comfortable.   They also discuss the clinical trials currently underway for ALS  — and how that can provide a sense of hope and purpose to patients.

In this web extra, you can hear Dr. Rothstein discuss how the difficulties of ALS can be hard for patients to register — and how important the caregiver relationship can be.

And here, Tom asks whether a family member can reverse an advance medical directive left by a patient.

You can listen to all of our conversations in the series at this link.

Entry filed under: Health, On Air, Policy. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

7-22-2011: Telomeres and Cancer Growth 7-25-11: A Legacy Worth Attempting

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bill Pieper  |  July 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Basically, every state needs a law something like Oregon’s. Not only to give the terminally ill peace of mind about retaining autonomy in their final days, but to bring the kind of ad hoc measures that desperate families in other states are driven to undertake out in the open and subject to regulation. My book What You Wish For takes a close look at this problem in a contemporary California context. Making assisted dting illegal does not prevent it from occurring and merely increases the liklihood of the abuses that opponents claim to worry about.

  • 2. carolloving  |  July 28, 2011 at 5:16 am

    I lost my son, Nick Loving, to ALS, in 1995. He was abandoned by doctors because of the terminal condition. ALS is a cruel heartless killer that no human being should have to suffer.

    Dr. Kevorkian was right when he said that doctors are cowards and I am eternally greatful for his assistance in my son’s passing from this world.

    A thousand doctors can stand up and talk about ALS, but not one of them can change or alter the deadly syndrome. It’s time for honesty, time to face the truth by the medical community, time to stop spinning the false hope of finding a cure.

    Assisted death is needed and we all live under medical tyranny without the freedom to die according to our free will. Good Death is comming in the future, it is a certainty.

    Carol Loving, Author
    My Son, My Sorrow: The Tragic Tale of Dr. Kevorkian’s Youngest Patient

    • 3. Emma  |  October 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      I just finished your book this evening. Heart wrenching, soul baring, enlightening. God bless Nick and you too. I am also my son’s caregiver, and I understood the raw emotion I could feel from your writing. You have to be possibly the most unselfish & loving mother I’ve ever heard of. Your strength is amazing.

      • 4. carolloving  |  October 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm

        Emma, your words are so very kind, thank you, you have touched my heart. Whatever it is you bear as you care for your son, I wish you patience, good will, and strength.

        I am glad you looked at my web sight, it brought me back to this page and your comment.

        Carol Loving

  • 5. Flávia  |  July 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    É horrível ter uma pessoa com ALS pra ser cuidada, tenho minha mãe, e está muito difícil pra cuidar, a pior parte é a alimentação, ela engasga com tudo, não consigo entendê-la direito quando fala, ela está sofrendo e não tenho como aliviá-la. Não consigo levá-la nem pra tomar sol, e o difícil é que as pessoas não tem paciência pra ajudar. Desculpe esse comentário aqui Emma, lhe desejo felicidades, seu filho onde estiver, está feliz agora.

    Flávia, PE – Brasil.

  • 6. Anita  |  November 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

    God so loved Nick my friends courageous and loving brother that he wanted him to reside with him and his glory so that he did not have to suffer any longer.Nick and his precious brother Drew are together in heaven looking down on us and wishing we were all at peace with there passing because they are both happy as can be where they are and are awaiting the company of all there loved ones. I worked with Drew on Central and Colter and he was my favorite as well as all our customers. We all loved him. Both Drew and Nick will forever be missed. Please Luke stay strong for your brothers who love you dearly~ you are blessed. PS Carol I never met you but you are a beautiful person to have such loving children your image shines though your childs eyes. God Bless you. Anita


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