Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Role of Hospice in Assisting a Good Death

From Web Exclusives

In a previous article, I offered as a possible slogan for hospice, “A good life deserves a good death.” But what is a good death, exactly, and what would have to happen to make it that way? My first wife, Carol, died of a particularly virulent form of stomach cancer. By the time the first symptoms appeared it was too late to save her life. Both her surgeon and her oncologist were deeply religious Christians and compassionate human beings who spoke openly and honestly about Carol’s condition and prognosis… . Continue Reading »

Hospice in a Death-Denying Society

From Web Exclusives

I remember a discussion that took place awhile back at the Brazoria County Advisory Board concerning slogans that might be used to promote hospice. One slogan proposed was: “Hospice - It’s about life.” I suggested: “A good life deserves a good death.” My memory is aging along with the rest of me, but, as I recall, the consensus was that any slogan that contained the ‘d-word’ would be a turn-off. We needed to stress life, not remind people that they were dying. But, I submit, death is precisely what hospice care is about… . Continue Reading »