Death and dying is a difficult subject to broach, even (or especially) in the medical field, where the goal of patient treatment is curative. When treatment is not likely to add quality to a person’s life, it may be best to consider what can be done to offer the best quality of life for the remainder of time each person has.
It’s early Saturday morning in the neonatal intensive care unit, normally a busy time in the round-the-clock care of premature babies. But the lights are off and the staff is gone, leaving medical director Dr. Stephen Butler as the last man standing at the Sutter Memorial Hospital NICU.
In the next decade, as senior nurses leave the field, a new generation will take their place. The transition won’t be easy, as registered nurses fresh out of school must meet the massive demand of baby boomers and newly insured patients. But UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing alumna Nicole Smith believes new nurses can transform the health care industry by disrupting the status quo.
Is Senate Bill 277 fair to parents fearful of vaccines? Though doctors can still provide parents with a medical exemption for their children if deemed necessary, the only education alternative for parents who simply don’t want their child vaccinated in California is home-schooling.
At least one if not two ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana use are almost assured to be on the November 2016 ballot for California voters. But while many folks see the legal sale and taxation of pot as a way to pump big money into the state’s coffers, the experiences of legal-weed states like Washington and Colorado show the road from green bud to greenbacks has more than its share of potholes.
In the past decade, there have been a handful of instances in which older adults have opted to live on cruise ships instead of paying for traditional senior living communities. That’s how the story grew. Now, when senior living experts gather, they tell dramatic tales of lonely seniors constantly sailing the globe on cruise liners as a way of illustrating the expense of senior housing and how neglectful families can be of their aging loved ones.
“It’s not secret data,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “It’s already held by the government; the data sets are all subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not private, confidential data. It’s already open to the public, but it’s just not in any usable form.”
Jeannine English assumed the office of AARP president in June 2014. Previously, she chaired the AARP National Policy Council and served as president of AARP California. This year, she’ll be directing the organization in advocating on behalf of its 37 million members.
Can people who are cognitively intact today decide to put into place directives stating that, if they ever develop advanced Alzheimer’s disease in the future, they want to go without food and water? Can someone forbid their future caregivers and nursing home aides from extending that spoon, as Don Reynolds puts it, if Alzheimer’s strips them of their selves?
When 32-year-old Californian Brittany Maynard ended her life on Nov. 1 in Oregon under that state’s Death with Dignity laws, she gave the aid-in-dying movement new momentum across the country. California’s Senate Bill 128, recently approved by the California Senate Health Committee is modeled on the Oregon law.