Death With Dignity: Self Sedation Vs. Palliative Sedation

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“It’s about who performs the final sedation: You can either pull the plug yourself or let the doctors do it for you,” says Robert Orfali, author of the recently-released Kirkus-starred book Death with Dignity.

Required reading for anyone who plans to die in the United States.
— Foreword Five-Star Review

Like other life-shortening palliative measures, asking for a lethal prescription of sleeping pills is physician-assisted dying. In this case, the palliative measure is called “self-sedation.” In the better hospices, the only way to relieve acute terminal pain is by sedating a patient into a coma from which they never wake up. It’s also the only way to relieve the unbearable suffering of a patient who is suffocating and cannot find their next breath (no ventilators are allowed in hospice). Hospices call this practice “palliative sedation.”

According to Robert Orfali author of the recently-released book Death with Dignity , “The repertoire of palliative choices must be extended to include death by self-sedation. Why? Because the timing of death can be controlled by the patient; not the physician. In contrast to palliative sedation, the patient decides when enough is enough. This guarantees that the action is truly voluntary. It also allows patients and their families to have proper goodbyes. For some, this is the preferred way to go. It fulfills their idea of “death with dignity.”  For others, the prescription is simply a form of “insurance” in case things go wrong. The hope is that they will never use it." As Orfali puts it, “Medically-assisted death, by whatever method, is palliative treatment—let patients choose what’s best for them.”
Robert Orfali’s book Death with Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia is an in-depth exploration of the shortcomings of our end-of-life system. The reader will learn about terminal torture in hospital ICUs and about the alternatives: hospice and palliative care. With laser-sharp focus, Orfali scrutinizes the good, the bad, and the ugly. He provides an insightful critique of the practice of palliative sedation. The book makes a strong case that assisted dying complements hospice. Oregon, by providing both, now has the best palliative-care system in America. 
“Because Death with Dignity is comprehensive, objective, and well documented, it belongs on every public library shelf. Because it avoids hyperbole, it is essential reading for those on either side of the issue. Because it is honest and compassionate, it is a must read for anyone who wants to understand this challenging issue.... But it is the eyes-wide-open look at how life ends that makes it required reading for anyone who plans to die in the United States. ”
                                       — Foreword Clarion Five-Star Review (August, 2011)
Robert Orfali, the guru of client/server systems in the early days of Silicon Valley, co-authored three best-selling books that demystified the complexity of these mission-critical systems and made them understandable to a whole new generation of programmers. The books sold over a million copies. In this book, Robert uses his analytical skills to deconstruct the most complex system he has yet encountered: our modern end-of-life system. He wrote this book after helping his soulmate and coauthor, Jeri, navigate her death from ovarian cancer in 2009. The deep emotions Robert felt allowed him to look at how we die from a different perspective, another angle. Robert also wrote Grieving a Soulmate. 
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc. 
Publication date: April 15, 2011
ISBN-10: 1936780186
ISBN-13: 978-1936780181
Paperback list price: $14.95
E-book list price: only $ 0.99 “almost free.”

Book and e-book available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Store, and others.
E-book formats include Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Nook, Android, and others.
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