New ways in assisted dying and hospice work by Dada Peng
Smoking pot in the hospice?
After one of my last readings, I was told about a young man who had arrived at the finish line of his life in his mid-40s. Since his youth, he had been a passionate pot smoker and could not find a hospice in which he could have been able to smoke excessively in his room until the very end.
A friend of mine, who is a filmmaker recently told me that she wanted to visit a terminally ill young man in the hospice, accompanied by a cameraman, so that he could record a video with a short message for his daughter. She was banned from doing so by the hospice management, fearing that other residents might feel disturbed by the camera being brought in, and it was argued with the duty of care for other residents.
From another hospice, I was told that a resident who very rarely only got a visit wanted to order blue slippers via Amazon Prime. However, since he did not have a mobile phone reception in the room and the hospice was not equipped with WIFI, he had to ask the sisters several times to get him blue slippers in the city. He never got them.
We say so beautiful 50 is the new 30. And there’s something real about it. Our lives have changed. The Rolling Stones are still on stage with over 70 and are rocking.
But this also means that we can no longer compare the dying of today with the war generation. The needs, especially of young dying people, have changed.
There are now cancer-stricken people who deal openly and aggressively with their illness, blog about it and go live on Facebook in their deathbed to say goodbye to their followers.
New ways of assisted dying
These are completely new ways of shaping death. These are courageous and innovative people who shape their own destiny and their last journey.
Associations, initiatives and politics have been primarily responsible for the organisation of the hospice movement for years. We are also very happy to shy ourselves from this task. Many people are afraid of the subject and the certainty of losing a loved one or dying themselves.
Associations, Initiatives and politics, however, are in most cases cumbersome and either church- or socialbased.
In the digital age, many can’t keep up. Times change rapidly and often the dying are 20 years ahead of the hospice where they spend their last days.
Putting death and dying in the middle of society – now!
Now it comes down to the middle of society. Artists, chefs, taxi drivers, designers, red-light swallows, photographers, singers, dancers, sausage sellers, we all need to do our stand to make hospices match our reality. So that there are rooms for pitchers, drunkards and whores. So that Playstations, Smart TVs and WIFI are part of the basic equipment, so that we can live as well as possible until the last breath. With self-determined shopping, with self-determined listening to music, with self-determined good coffee.
We need new ways of facing death, we need new roads in assisted dying!
When we are sitting in the car and have already left, it becomes difficult if we want to leave the existing roads, because they do not seem to bring us to our own goal. It works, but especially in the last phase of life, power is very precious and can be used much better at other points. If we are already building our road now, our very own path, and making it available to others, then we may even be able to enjoy the ride a little at the end.
Life is so colorful and diverse. The same must be dying.
Let us be brave, imagine new roads, build and drive and live and die!