Wed February 3, 2010
"A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life"
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this edition of our program, we speak by phone with Dr. Jeanne Fitzpatrick, an ER physician who lives and works in a small town in Oregon. Along with her sister, an attorney named Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, she has written a new book called "A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life" (Penguin Paperbacks). As Dr. Fitzpatrick explains on our show, in recent years, advanced directives and living wills have greatly improved our ability to dictate end-of-life care --- but even these measures (when and if they are properly and fully accomplished) cannot guaran tee that we will be allowed the dignity of a natural death. Therefore, "A Better Way of Dying" offers a five-step Compassion Protocol --- a useful, simple, and effective outline that provides a framework for leaving one's caretakers concrete and legally binding instructions about one's wishes for one's final days. Dr. Fitzpatrick also has some insights to share on generating a discussion that we all must have if we wish to ensure comfort and control at the end of our lives. It's often difficult to talk about such matters, with our parents or our kids or other loved ones, but --- as today's guest today points out more than once --- it's critically important.