Start Your Journey to Finish Strong
by Barbara Coombs Lee, Compassion & Choices President
Today is the culmination of my 5-year project to write a book to help people lead with their values and priorities as illnesses advance and frailty increases. It’s called Finish Strong: Putting YOUR Values First at Life’s End. I am delighted to be able to offer this resource to those who may need it.
One of the first journalists to read the book, Diane Rehm, said, Finish Strong “covers all the issues we must address—from opening the conversations with our families to informing doctors about the kind of care we want at the end of our lives.” Well, I certainly tried to do that, and I do hope I was successful.
Finish Strong does things other books on similar topics don’t.
Finish Strong puts cherished values and life priorities front and center. It shows why we need to remember them every time a doctor recommends a test or treatment.
Finish Strong admits that advance directives are pitifully ineffective in preventing prolonged dying and needless suffering. And it describes more effective actions we can take.
Finish Strong highlights the difference between “patient-centered care,” a well-intended, but ultimately patronizing phrase, and “patient-directed care,” a description of true autonomy and agency.
Finish Strong incorporates medical aid in dying and other consciously intended deaths into a menu of normal and legitimate options terminally ill individuals may consider to avoid needless suffering.
Finish Strong speaks honestly and openly about how one might make a plan to escape dementia — not endure dementia or cope with dementia — but escape dementia, if a threshold of unacceptable deterioration is approaching.
Consider buying Finish Strong as a step in your journey to navigate YOUR end-of-life values and options here.