Dying in the 21st Century

That’s a fun topic, Doug.

Actually not.

This is serious.

We don’t like to think about dying, and we certainly don’t like talking about it.

That’s kind of interesting, don’t you think? Especially since each of us is definitely going to die.

Death is the one experience every human being has in common.

We cannot chose to live forever, but we can often choose how, and where we die, and that’s the theme of this TED talk.

If I didn’t think it was important and useful, I wouldn’t share it with you. And the final months of our lives are becoming unsustainably expensive, an important topic as our leaders are (supposedly) dealing with revenue vs expenditures in a decade of ever-increasing deficits.

In a recent NEWSWEEK article, Dr. Thomas Smith of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore said, “I think we are the only industrialized country that doesn’t look at the cost balanced somehow with effectiveness in making decisions about drugs.”

What we have now are a bunch of blockbuster drugs that gie a little bit of benefit. If you’re that person, it could be a really big benefit to have three extra months before your disease starts growing again, but as a society we simply can’t pay for that for everybody.”

I am of the belief that death is not something to be feared, but I guess it wouldn’t make any difference — at least to the final outcome — even if I did.

I am not saying losing someone you love should not bring you intense grief; it should. It will.

Still, we can make the inevitable a bit less stressful, a bit more peaceful and compassionate, and this talk will show you how to begin…