ASK QUESTIONS FIRST-
Making informed decisions is based on doing your own research. Before choosing any kind of treatment, be it medical or alternative, I spend a great deal of time researching. While that may seem obvious, I notice many people just don’t bother. It seems I never follow the heard. Wading through tons of information may be a daunting task. It can seem like an easy thing to hop on the internet and dig in. After an hour or two have I gotten anywhere?
For example I’m researching if I should have a DNR or not. That is a Do Not Resuscitate order. When you become a senior, as I am, there is a lot of planning that goes into dying. Not only have I read many articles from different sources as well as considered the sources, I have spoken with my death midwife. I also spoke to the local EMS director who was very clear about how they will deal with this question. Each state has different laws. I’ve also heard that each municipality may have it’s own interpretations.
I’m getting closer to making a decision. For me it’s all about avoiding invasive medical procedures. I chose to have home births and I would like to have a home death if possible. I have a death midwife. I’ve also heard there are now death doulas. We used to give birth at home and die at home. We also had home funerals.
Birth and death are not all that different really. I onece went to a conference for midwives and hospice workers. I learned that the hospice field has it pretty together as far as informed consent. Birth. Sadly, has become much more medicalized than I think it needs to be. Death has too, but at least we have a fairly good idea about the choices. Most people have heard of hospice. Most people have not heard of home birth or true birth center birth staffed by midwives.
In traditional Asian medicine anything taken into the body is considered very carefully. It is common sense that any substance, including food and drink, has the ability to most impact our health. Food is considered medicine as it is one of the seven branches of medicine. Medications go into the body. There is always potential for risk or benefit.
Even when I’m working with a trusted practitioner I always take my time and do my homework. Researching is easy to do on the internet but I like to compare what live humans have to say too. Gathering information from many sources helps to give a broad range of perspectives. After all, I will be the one who will be living with the decisions I make – possibly for a long time.
While I can’t plan everything about about a birth or death I strongly suggest that you learn all you can before you make any major decisions. There are also health decisions we make in between the beginning and the end. I think I’m pretty well prepared but then I was a Girl Scout! Sadly, there are always entities that put profit before people. Greed and arrogance seem to be alive and well. There are many things we don’t know and never will.