- Most people will have warning of an impending death
- Advance thinking and planning can make our final days less miserable, confusing and frightening
This essay is part of a column called The Wisdom Project by David Allan, editorial director of CNN Health and Wellness. The series is on applying to one's life the wisdom and philosophy found everywhere, from ancient texts to pop culture. You can follow David at @davidgallan. Don't miss another Wisdom Project column; subscribe here.
(CNN)How do you want to die?
What, exactly, does a 'good death' look like?
A 'good death' checklist
- Being pain-free
- Feeling "at peace" and in a good emotional head space
- Dying in a location where the conditions are ideal for the patient, whether that's in one's bed with family around or the hospital with doctors nearby
- Feeling ready to say goodbye and accepting that this really is the end instead of wishing to prolong it
- Having a sense that there is a purpose of life and that it's been fulfilled, regardless of whether one is religious or spiritual
- Having treatment preferences met (e.g. no heroic measures, pain-relieving palliative care)
- Having the people you want around you
- Feeling that a subjective definition of "quality of life" is met (e.g. being home versus being at the hospital)
- That a subjective definition of "dignity" is met (e.g. control and agency over oneself, being respected and not ignored)
- Having a good relationship with the health care provider
The hope of hospice
My final chapter
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