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Speaking for the Dying: Life-and-Death Decisions in Intensive Care

  • Publication: University of Chicago Press

2019, Susan P. Shapiro, University of Chicago Press

Cover of Speaking for the Dying: Life-and-Death Decisions in Intensive Care

Seven in ten Americans over the age of age of sixty who require medical decisions in the final days of their life lack the capacity to make them. For many of us, our biggest, life-and-death decisions—literally—will therefore be made by someone else. They will decide whether we live or die; between long life and quality of life; whether we receive heroic interventions in our final hours; and whether we die in a hospital or at home. They will determine whether our wishes are honored and choose between fidelity to our interests and what is best for themselves or others. Yet despite their critical role, we know remarkably little about how our loved ones decide for us.

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