Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-life Decisions on Your Own Terms (Death, Value & Meaning)

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9780895033406: Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-life Decisions on Your Own Terms (Death, Value & Meaning)
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"Freedom of Information in a Post 9-11 World" is, to date, the first international scholarly examination of the impact of the terrorist attack on the United States in terms of how it may alter academic and corporate research, as well as the sharing of information generated by that research, by international colleagues in technological fields. The collection of essays brings together a widely varied panel of communications experts from different backgrounds and cultures to focus their expertise on the ramifications of this world-changing event. Drawing upon the related but separate disciplines of law, interpersonal communication, semiotics, rhetoric, management, information sciences, and education, the collection adds new insight to the potential future challenges high-tech professionals and academics will face in a global community that now seems much less communal than it did prior to September 11, 2001.In "Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-Life Decisions on Your Own Terms", young persons, baby boomers, and "senior citizens" alike will find the information they need to make intelligent, informed, and well-planned decisions about end-of-life care, and to clearly state their wishes based on personal, cultural, religious, and family values. In direct and simple language, Dr. Burnell describes how to prepare for a smooth transition to end-of-life care and what to do to prevent family conflicts, overcome death fears and anxiety, and achieve peace of mind for our loved ones and ourselves.The book gives practical advice on how to make decisions about end-of-life care and how to prepare a living will and durable power of attorney for health care. Dr. Burnell provides guidelines at the end of each chapter on what to consider before preparing these important documents: how to preserve one's rights as a patient; how to choose the right doctor; the best place to be when critically ill; the laws governing advance directives; and the best alternatives for end-of-life care, such as good pain control and assisted dying (where this is legal). "Freedom to Choose" provides a user-friendly approach to facing these difficult decisions. It includes extensive lists of resources and organizations, and a glossary necessary for understanding the issues at hand. As this book makes clear, preparing an advance directive and knowing all the available options at the end of life are the most important steps for achieving peace of mind.The primary audience is anyone, young or old, who needs to prepare a set of advance directives: healthy people, for themselves or their loved ones who are seriously ill or on life support, and people with a terminal illness. The secondary audience is health professionals who deal with people in end-of-life care or with decision-makers on end-of-life issues: primary care physicians; nurses; geriatricians; psychiatrists; hospice doctors, nurses, and volunteer staff; caregivers for the seriously ill; oncologists; interns and residents; counselors; family therapists; psychologists; social workers who work with the dying and bereaved; attorneys; thanatologists; estate planning advisors; senior citizen center staff; college teachers in death and dying courses; professionals taking courses in psychology, gerontology, thanatology, nursing, and social work.

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From the Inside Flap:

IN PRAISE OF "Dr. Burnell brings a perspective borne of many years of listening carefully to the concerns of patients who deeply crave a measure of control over their final days. The wisdom this listening brought him shines through in the information he shares." —Barbara Coombs Lee, President, Compassion & Choices "You should read this book if you are a baby boomer, an adult child of retired parents, a 'senior citizen,' or a young person. Dr. Burnell has written an excellent vade mecum that covers every possible aspect of end-of-life problem and decision. The book helped me review and improve my own planning for end-of-life care. Although I had done many of the things Dr. Burnell recommends, I still found areas that needed more consideration on my part. I can therefore recommend Freedom to Choose to you and your family." —Alex Roth, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii "There are many important questions that patients need to consider, and Dr. Burnell poses these in his well-organized book. He then provides answers and guidelines that will equip readers with the opportunity to be more in control when faced with making end-of-life decisions. This is a creative approach that would also benefit physicians-in-training, interns, and residents in helping them understand what patients are considering when faced with diseases for which no cures exist. Most medical schools and teaching hospitals fail to provide this knowledge." —Richard MacDonald , Former President, World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies, 2000-2002 "Dr. Burnell's book, Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-Life Decisions on Your Own Terms, provides current, comprehensive information and advice on setting your course and facing death on your own terms. Using the Terri Schiavo tragedy as an example, Dr. Burnell systematically shows, step by step, how to plan for a good death. In an era when end-of-life issues are becoming increasingly controversial, Dr. Burnell remains above the fray. He presents information in a straightforward, nonpolitical manner, providing readers with all the knowledge they need to make informed choices. The benefit of his psychiatric experience is evident throughout the book, and the personal stories he uses to illuminate his points make the book much more than an end-of-life manual. If you want quality at the end of life, read this book!" —Robb M. Miller, Executive Director, Compassion & Choices of Washington "Dr. Burnell brings many years' experience in working with and concern for dying patients and their families. His timely effort comes as a fitting follow-up to Elizabeth Kubler Ross's On Death and Dying. Dr. Burnell writes with deep understanding and sensitivity. This book will prove an invaluable resource for all persons faced with end-of-life decisions, and it is must reading for all health care professionals." —Clifford J. Straehley, M.D. , Professor Emeritus of Surgery, University of Hawaii Medical School, Emeritus Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery Stanford University Medical School "Dr. Burnell's book is a valuable companion for those approaching the end of life or for their loved ones. Concise, but nicely illustrated with moving stories, it is encyclopedic in covering the essentials of peaceful dying. Its main message—that there's much for everyone to learn about dying in this complex age—lays out the need to have this book." —Tom Preston, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Retired University of Washington Board of Directors, Compassion & Choices of Washington

About the Author:

Dr. George Burnell is Chief Emeritus of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii, and former Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and at the School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, where he has taught courses on death and dying. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is the author of a previous book on the subject of end-of-life decisions, Final Choices: To Live or To Die in an Age of Medical Technology, and other books and scientific articles. Dr. Burnell has more than thirty years of experience in counseling patients and families who are dealing with issues of end-of-life care.

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