End of life

Leaving time for last words

When a person needs to be intubated to help them breathe, they are unable to speak, and if something happens it’s possible for someone to die without a chance to have a final conversation with their loved ones. But it’s possible for doctors to adjust intubation protocol to allow for such a conversation.

Choosing life with a VAD (ventricular assist device)

Despite the challenges of needing to use a battery-operated ventricular assist device (VAD) for heart failure, one man came to terms with his situation and found ways to adapt and enjoy his life as much as possible.

The latest ways to relieve the burden of decision-making at life’s end

A POLST order goes beyond what a DNR can cover: it allows you to set your preferences for treatments such as nutrition, pain medicine, and antibiotics at the end of life, and it applies both inside and outside the hospital. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. Ultimately, it’s safest to draw up not only a POLST, but other types of tried-and-true directives, to ensure you get the end-of-life care you want.