Jeremy Make – TRANSCRIPT
The world is filled with choices. Do you know how many different types of Raisin Bran there are? There’s like 35. Thirty-six. There are more than 15 million iPhone apps that you can choose from, and, of course, you can choose to use the Oxford comma, or you can choose to be a totally barbaric philistine; it’s really up to you. When it comes to dying, there are a lot of options too. But we’re not really good about talking about all the options available to us.
Like for me I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather did. Not screaming like the passengers in his car, you know? As it is, some people know the options afforded to them when it comes to end of life care, those with high health literacy, those who know the right questions to ask. And those who talk about health care on a regular basis, so doctors and maybe NPR’s Terry Gross. But for the rest of us, we’re lucky if we get a form to sign on the way into a major surgery that tells us, in quite uncertain terms, the three basic options should something terrible happen.
Not exactly the best time to be asking people if they want aggressive treatments, limited treatments, or comfort care only. We can do better. We must do better for the sake of people who may face the end of life one day. So according to researchers, between like 40 and 68 percent of us. Not you, you’re fine.
You don’t even really need to listen to this TED talk if you don’t want to. Stick around for Jovan’s though; it’s going to be great. Do you remember the movie Big Fish? There’s this great scene in it where the kids all see a vision of their own deaths in the future, and they see it in a witch’s glass eyeball. God, I love that movie! One kid sees a vision of his death when he falls off of a ladder as an old man and that’s how he dies. Another one dies from pooping too hard.
Really, it’s quite moving. And then the main character sees his death and it’s calm, it’s simple. Oh, so that’s how I go. What if you didn’t need a witch’s glass eyeball to tell you how you were going to die? What if you got to decide for yourself? For those of us who want to decide, I’ve come up with a little crazy notion, something I like to call The Choice Model. This is basically an informed consent form that tells people the advantages and the disadvantages of nine different dying options that should be afforded to them.