Blog 4

ImageMost of the deaths I have experienced in life have been of older adults. When I took this class I expected it to teach me all about death in older adults. I guess I didn’t take into account that younger people die too.  It’s not that I wasn’t aware, I had a good friend die at 17, but I don’t think I really ever thought about it in depth. Before my friend passed away, death at a young age didn’t seem like something I would ever actually have to deal with. That happened to other people, not to me.  It caused me to think about my own death, what would happen if I died tomorrow?  Who would it affect? What would my family do with all my things? One thing that really struck me was learning about the Nancy Cruzan and Karen Quinlan cases. Both were girls in their 20s who were in a persistent vegetative state.  This was obviously not something they planned for, as no one expects for this type of thing to happen.  It made me realize that this can happen to anyone, no matter what age. While these girls did not die immediately from their injuries, they were in a state where they could not make decisions about their own healthcare. The Cruzan case brought out the issue of “clear and convincing evidence”.  I never thought someone in their 20s, my age, would need an advance directive. Before this class I had never thought to make my wishes for end of life clear to anyone. I figured that was something old people do. Although it may be uncomfortable to think about, it is something important to consider. Advance directives can take a lot of the confusion and hard decisions out of a tragic situation like the cases of Cruzan and Quinlan. They can act as a legal medium to communicate your wishes to your family or healthcare provider.  This class really helped me to know the importance of these documents and even though it’s uncomfortable, death isn’t something we want to deny. Death is inevitable but there are programs in place to help make the transition easier and education is key



4 thoughts on “Blog 4

  1. First, I absolutely love this quote. I read it and honestly just thought about it for a few minutes before I read the rest of the post. Like you, I never really thought about people who die at a younger age. When I thought “Death and Dying” when I registered for this class, I automatically thought about older adults. This class did help to call attention to all of the paperwork people need to do for end of life. Also, the fact that as young adults, we should start thinking about these things. Although it is an overwhelming and somewhat scary thing to think about, it is important.

    • Education is crucial in terms of death and dying. End of life matters is something we all should prepare for and this course definitely provided a multitude of reasons why. Advanced directives at any age is important given those examples like Cruzan and Quinlin. I enjoyed your quote, it is an inspiring reminder about life .

  2. I enjoyed reading your post and I also like your first picture you posted with the quote. Yes, death can happen to anyone at any given time and it may be predictable but sometimes it’s not. My best friend, Taylor, passed away in 2008 when he was 16. That was the first major death I ever experienced and can fully remember everything about the day when I found out. Even though you may not have many valuable possessions but maybe you have enough money that you worked for that you can give to a certain person. That’s why I believe it should be required at the age of 18 you should create some type of advanced directive just in case something terrible were to happen and you died at an early age.

  3. If there were anything that I had never given enough thought to it would definitely be the fact that death and dying are things that happen to people when they are older. I relate so very much to you when you state that young people dying is something that happens to other people not to me. And to take that a step further I have often subconsciously tell myself that my immediate family dying is something that happens to other people not to myself. I am so glad I took this class, because it was a fresh and much needed reminder of the brevity of life, and not just our own, but the lives of everyone around us. Lives around us are short; ours, our loved ones, our friends, our acquaintances, everybody. So of course we need to be prepared for it.

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