Overview


Today most people die gradually, from incremental illnesses, rather than from the heart attacks or fast-moving diseases that killed earlier generations. Given this new reality, the essays in Final Acts explore how we can make informed and caring end-of-life choices for ourselves and for those we loveùand what can happen without such planning.

Contributors include patients, caretakers, physicians, journalists, lawyers, social workers, educators, hospital administrators, ...

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Final Acts: Death, Dying, and the Choices We Make

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Overview


Today most people die gradually, from incremental illnesses, rather than from the heart attacks or fast-moving diseases that killed earlier generations. Given this new reality, the essays in Final Acts explore how we can make informed and caring end-of-life choices for ourselves and for those we loveùand what can happen without such planning.

Contributors include patients, caretakers, physicians, journalists, lawyers, social workers, educators, hospital administrators, academics, psychologists, and a poet, and among them are ethicists, religious believers, and nonbelievers. Some write moving, personal accounts of "good" or 'bad" deaths; others examine the ethical, social, and political implications of slow dying. Essays consider death from natural causes, suicide, and aid-in-dying (assisted suicide).

Writing in a style free of technical jargon, the contributors discuss documents that should be prepared (health proxy, do-not-resuscitate order, living will, power of attorney); decision-making (over medical interventions, life support, hospice and palliative care, aid-in-dying, treatment location, speaking for those who can no longer express their will); and the roles played by religion, custom, family, friends, caretakers, money, the medical establishment, and the government.

For those who yearn for some measure of control over death, the essayists in Final Acts, from very different backgrounds and with different personal and professional experiences around death and dying, offer insight and hope.

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Editorial Reviews

The Gerontologist

"Final Acts provides the reader with persuasive and enlightening views on the controversial complex issues that are illustrated in the personal stories. It is a collection of moving stories and compelling essays."
Transition Network Newsletter

"If there's one profound lesson to be learned from Final Acts, it is that most of us are woefully uninformed and unprepared to make wise end-of-life choices. A good place to begin is by reading this book."

— Eleanor Foa Dienstag

Global Action on Aging

"An insightful, complex, and pragmatic 'how-to' guide for dying in the Western world. Final Acts a is strong, well-composed, and balanced tool kit to help us all not only change our system to better maintain the integrity of the dying, but to enter into the end of life with confidence and control."
Transition Network Newsletter - Eleanor Foa Dienstag

"If there's one profound lesson to be learned from Final Acts, it is that most of us are woefully uninformed and unprepared to make wise end-of-life choices. A good place to begin is by reading this book."
President, Compassion & Choices - Barbara Coombs Lee

"The essays in Final Acts offer all manner of paths, exploring a new relationship with death. Wise and gentle guides, Bauer-Maglin and Perry reveal meaning and purpose in the journey."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813549088
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 12/7/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 793,747
  • File size: 478 KB

Meet the Author


Nan Bauer-Maglin was formerly a professor of English, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, and academic director of the CUNY Baccalaureate Program. She is the coeditor of "Bad Girls/Good Girls": Women, Sex, and Power in the Nineties (with Donna Perry), Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide, and Cut Loose: (Mostly) Older Women on the End of Their (Mostly) Long-Term Relationships (Rutgers University Press).

Donna Perry, a professor of English, teaches literature, writing, and women's studies courses at William Paterson University. She is the editor of Backtalk: Women Writers Speak Out and coeditor (with Nan Bauer-Maglin) of "Bad Girls/Good Girls": Women, Sex, and Power in the Nineties (Rutgers University Press).
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Table of Contents

Part I: Death and the Family
Ruthann Robson, Notes on My Dying
June Bingham, Live Better or Longer?
Nancy Barnes, "Life which is ours to know just once"
Susan Perlstein, Caregiving Beulah
Sara M. Evans, Emails to Family and Friends
Carol K. Oyster, Whose Death Is It, Anyway?
Jean Levitan, The Family Tree
Mimi Schwartz, Elegy for an Optimist
Alan Pope, Buddhist Reflections on Life and Death
Mary Jumbelicm, Death as My Colleague
Part II: Perspectives on Death and Dying
Stephen P. Kiernan, The Transformation of Death in America
Kathryn Temple, Unintended Consequences
Natalie R. Hannon, The Ethics Committee
Candace Cummins Gauthier, Ethical Principles for Endof Life Decision Making
Cherylynn MacGregor, Life or Death
Kathryn L. Tucker, Empowering Patients at the End of Life
Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart, Dying Down Under
Margaret Cruikshank, Ageism As It Affects LateLife Choices
Ira Byock,PhysicianAssisted Suicide
Marge Piercy, End of days
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Morningblaze

    I know. *she walked out her head held low*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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