The Baby Boom generation dares to discuss death

Categories: In The Media.

In an article for Time magazine, journalist Dan Kadlec discusses how this generation is having their say in how they would like to die.

He writes: ”To them, a good death is more about a good life. When they can’t have that any longer, it’s time to pull the plug. This will be the first generation to broadly eschew painful life-extending procedures and make the most of palliative care to live better in fewer days, and then die with dignity.”

Kadlec goes on to consider how the Baby Boomers have “reinvented retirement”, rather than slowing down, they have embraced this time of life going on to have second careers, volunteering and participating in leisure activities.

But many have also witnessed the deaths of their parents, often after long bouts of physical and mental suffering and have therefore “turned their thoughts to dying, and how to do it,” Kadlec writes.

Author and gerontologist, Ken Dychtwald, who has studied the generation for four decades contributes to the article. He said: “They’re not going to allow their last chapter in life to be an extended period of loss, fear, pain, and suffering.”

He believes more will choose to forego treatments that degrade but extend life, and when confronted with years of illness opt for the quick solution—suicide either with or without the help of a doctor.

The article concludes with what it considers to be the key aspects of a good death. These include: 

  • control of the process 
  • open communication 
  • spirituality 
  • minimal suffering 
  • closure.

You can read the full article from Time here. 

The views and opinions in this article do not necessarily represent those of ehospice and/or any contributors to this site. The position of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance on voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide can be viewed here

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