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end-of-life issues and dilemmas

A selection of readings touching on the sensitive final moments of life. Personal reflections and accounts.

Last Chapters
I said yes immediately, afraid that if I thought about it first, I would lose the courage. The idea of sharing an entire night with someone straddling two worlds seemed awesome to me.
How Faith Saved the Atheist
A medical resident--we called her "Dr. Death"--chased us down the hallway. "Your husband wants to die," she told my mother, again.
Yerachmiel: Lessons From Our Baby's Life
I remember crying and saying to my husband, that in a way it was a merit to have met such a holy neshama (soul). We don’t know why G-d does anything. But I am sure that He heard our prayers and tears, and watched with amazement...
Her EEG was totally flat, indicating zero brain activity. A pacemaker made her heart beat artificially and a respirator made her lungs breathe artificially...
My Body and Me
There was no longer this "prison" or "vessel" or "garment" of the body. There was no longer soul and body as separate entities. What I was experiencing was in contradiction with all the language that I'd read and heard through the years
The Value of a Life
Can a human life be assigned a relative "value" based on its quality? And if it can, where does it end?
Human Being
Ours is a culture, after all, where human worth is often measured by the capacity to impersonate a character or to accurately hit, kick or throw a ball... things that may no longer be possible in the confines of a hospital bed under tangles of tubes and monitors
Why not / As a withered bloom / As a beast of field / Whose time has come / Meek and tranquil / Do I bow my head / And cease?
Should I Become an Organ Donor?
Judaism holds life as being sacred. For this reason, donating an organ to save a life is one of the highest act of virtue one can do. But sometimes, precisely because life is sacred, organ donation is problematic.
How Do I Deal With the Death of My Child?
There are no words that can provide enough comfort. All the same, reaching out to others is a good way to begin a healing process.
What I Learned from My Husband's Final Illness
It was devastating to watch as the cruelty of the mental illness began to steal his independence and the identity that he had established for himself. What was it that G‑d expected from me as we became engulfed by the darkness that seemed to control our lives?

Introduction: Dealing with Death; The Jewish Approach
Life to Life Library


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