September 1, 2009

End of Life: A Process, Not An Act

Just like the Remote Area Medical clinic images a few weeks back provided a sobering counterpoint to the townhall cranks, Getty’s John Moore delivers a series offering a dose of reality to the “death panel” hysteria.

Moore visited the the Hospice of Saint John in Lakewood, Colorado, a non-profit that accepts terminally-ill patients regardless of their ability to pay — though most have Medicare.  Hospice administrators told Moore their services costs about a third the price of hospital care.

As a sensitive reply to the callous, two-dimensional and endless right-wing references to “pulling the plug,” Moore’s images capture the enormous cost — in painstaking effort, intense emotions, agonizing choices, and yes, financial burden surrounding the terminally ill. Most significantly, he frames the end of life as a process and a life stage — in contrast to its absurd framing as either a pre-paid ticket or somehow a determinative act.

In the photo, an RN comforts Ramond Garcia who was admitted to the hospice after suffering a debilitating stroke.

Pixtera slideshow: Caring for the Terminally Ill

(image: John Moore/Getty Images. August 20, 2009. Lakewood, Colorado)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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