“In his bestselling 1994 book How We Die, Dr Sherwin Nuland observed that, by the logic of hospital administrators and the US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, “it is illegal to die of old age”. Instead, “everybody is required to die of a named entity”: cancer or heart attack, stroke or traumatic injury. Plain old age – the natural wearing down of systems, the exhaustion of finite cellular life spans, the loss of internal equilibrium – did not count as a cause of death and was never a checkbox option on official paperwork.”
“For the millions of Americans living with dementia, every day during this pandemic can bring a fresh horror.”
“The Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, was the first COVID hot spot in the U.S. Forty-six people associated with the nursing home died, exposing how ill-prepared we were for the pandemic — and how we take care of our elderly.”
Sometimes the question was if. Usually, though, it was when. Debra said that she would kill herself before she lost herself completely. She would wait for as long as she could because she did not want to die, but she wouldn’t wait too long.