Final victory : taking charge of the last stages of life, facing death on your own terms

by Thomas A. Preston

Hardcover, 2000




Roseville, CA : Forum, c2000.


Let's face it, we're all going to die eventually. Dying, after all, is a part of natural life. Unfortunately, modern medicine has turned this natural process into an experience that is often traumatic and painful not only to patients, but also to their loved ones. According to Thomas A. Preston, M.D., a nationally respected patients' rights advocate, it doesn't have to be this way. "Read this book. Make use of what you learn. Pass it on." — Robert Fulghum, author ofAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten InFinal Victory,Dr. Preston shows how you can take charge of life's end and set the stage for a peaceful, dignified death. He gives you invaluable information on the dying process, the limits of modern medicine, and what living wills can and cannot accomplish. He describes which treatments reduce suffering, which extend it, and how far doctors can legally go to reduce pain. You will discover how to accept a serious diagnosis, how to understand life-expectancy statistics, how to decide among treatment options, how to talk with your doctors and your loved ones, and how to take charge of the medical decisions that will profoundly affect you and those you will leave behind. Final Victorymay be the most important book you or a loved one will ever read.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lauriebrown54
The author knows a lot about what happens to people at the end of their lives. His advice is to learn and plan as much as you can *before* you are in that accident or get that terminal diagnosis. He is outraged by the amount of torture done to patients in the name of keeping them alive at all cost, and wants to help people avoid having tubes stuck in every orifice and having a machine breathe for them while they lay there helpless.

He goes through the legal matters like having a DNR- Do Not Resuscitate- order in place, and having someone who has legal control over your treatment if you are incapacitated. He also discusses the limits of what medicine can do in the way of extending quality life, and what things are to be avoided. He outlines the options for making death as pain free and stress free as possible- it’s not perfect, obviously, but it can be better than a lot of people get.

Obviously some of the information is out of date; the book is 16 years old. There are new treatments for many cancers and even for heart failure. There are newer treatments that can extend your life in a quality way. But his suggestion that you learn as much as you can about your illness will show these to you. A valuable book for everyone. We’re all going to die sometime.
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