Whatever Happened to Common Sense at the End of Life?

Elderly Patient1

(By Nancy Valko, RN ALNC) – In 2007, I wrote an article titled “Whatever Happened to Common Sense at the End of Life?” for Voices magazine.

I wrote about real life situations that people and their families faced along with the principles involved. I am reprising that article here in response to the many questions I receive about dealing with such difficult situations.

Unfortunately since I wrote this article, the situations people and their families face have become worse: More states have legalized assisted suicide and have expanded the definition of “terminal”, more parents of babies with disabilities are fighting for their right to treatment, voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED) is promoted as a legal way to kill oneself, etc.

I have and will continue to write on these newer issues but the basic principles are still valid. CONTINUE