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When Is Life Too Long?

Some hope to make a graceful exit. Others are in no hurry to leave

On my great-aunt Ruth's 90th birthday, after lobster and a blueberry pie she'd made herself, the birthday girl reached into her blouse, pulled out the soft breast prosthesis she'd worn since a mastectomy nearly 30 years before, and tossed it across the room to my husband's friend. "Catch this, honey!" Ruthie said, and he did, with that auto-reflex guy gesture of intercepting a football midair. When he realized what he'd done, his face flamed, exactly as she'd hoped it would. "I just wanted one more feel before I die," she said. … Back to Article

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Dr. Ira Byock, author of The Best Care Possible and Dying Well, discusses separating the medical aspects of end-of-life care from the individual’s personal experience.

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