A professor of intensive care asks why so many elderly people linger in pain and confusion in ICU when all they want is to die at home in peace and with their loved ones. A crucial and timely rallying cry against unnecessary suffering and for humanity and gentle acceptance at the end of our lives.
A huge majority of people at the end of their lives want to die at home, but only a small number manage to do this. This vital book asks why.
Many of us have experienced an elderly loved one coming to the end of their life in a hospital - over-treated, infantilised and, worst of all, facing a death without dignity. Families are being herded into making decisions that are not to the benefit of the patient.
Professor Ken Hillman has worked in intensive care since its inception. But he is appalled by the way the ICU has become a place where the frail, soon-to-die and dying are given unnecessary operations and life-prolonging treatments without their wishes being taken into account.
A Good Life to the End will embolden and equip us to ask about the options that doctors in hospital should offer us but mostly don’t. It lets us know that there are other, gentler options for patients and their loved ones that can be much more sympathetic to the final wishes of most people facing the end of their lives.
An invaluable support for the elderly as well as their families, and a rallying cry for anyone who’s had to witness the unnecessary suffering of a loved one, A Good Life to the End will spark debate, challenge the status quo and change lives.
About the Author
Ken Hillman is a practising intensive care specialist who is a Professor of Intensive Care at the University of New South Wales, the Foundation Director of The Simpson Centre for Health Services Research, and a member of the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research. He trained at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and worked in London for six years before returning to Australia as Director of Intensive Care at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney.
Professor Hillman is internationally recognised as a pioneer in the introduction of the Medical Emergency Team, which recognises and responds to seriously ill hospital patients early in their deterioration and has been adopted in the majority of hospitals in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and several European countries. He is also a passionate advocate of improving the management of the dying patient in acute hospitals.