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Modern medicine has advanced to the point where many people can be kept “alive” indefinitely by the use of machines that take over life-sustaining functions. Quantity over quality seems to be the rule.

The Hemlock Society of San Diego believes that people should have the right to end their lives when they have reached a point of unbearable suffering without any hope of recovery. To this end, we educate the San Diego public about all end-of-life choices and support other organizations that share this goal.

Read more about the issues:

  • The Inescapable Truth September 2, 2019
    Opponents of assisted dying often use as an argument that assisted dying is not necessary because good quality palliative care can alleviate suffering at end of life. This report from England concludes that 17 people a day suffer at the end of their lives, despite the best efforts of hospice and palliative care. In research commissioned for ...


  • When “do no harm” is no longer textbook July 8, 2019
    by Jim Demaine, Md, KevinMD.com, July 7, 2019 A call came about noon a few years ago that a patient I’ll call Stella was being admitted once again. She had come into the ER from her nursing home to receive transfusions. These were now needed every two weeks to keep her alive. The problem was that ...


  • How to Make Doctors Think About Death April 28, 2019
    Opinion piece by Theresa Brown, hospice nurse. New York Times, April 27, 2019 A hospice nurses argues that lack of time is the main cause of over treatment at end of life. She suggests the development of end-of-life treatment guidelines. “Such guidelines exist for a host of conditions: cardiac arrest, diabetes, depression. Though ...


  • Deciding When a Life is No Longer Worth Living March 28, 2019
    by Joanne Faryon inewsource.org A report about the “vent farms” in Coronado, and the helpless people in it. In California, 4,000 men, women and children are being kept alive with machines in special wards in California’s nursing homes. “The default in the system is to keep people alive at all cost — it won’t let you die ...


  • Doctor Considers The Pitfalls Of Extending Life And Prolonging Death January 30, 2017
    Fresh Air, NPR – Jan. 30, 2017 Terry Gross talks with author of “Modern Death” and fellow in cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Haider Warraic, about how medicine has changed the end  of life. He talks about the realities of CPR, tube feeding, dementia, and advance directives. Listen to the podcast  “Doctor Considers The Pitfalls Of ...


  • The end can be sudden in advanced cancer February 8, 2016
    KevinMd.com Feb. 8, 2016 Many doctors are reluctant to talk about end of life issues. Many families want to avoid the issue altogether and are shocked when the end “suddenly” appears. Read more about doctors’ reluctance to talk about end of life with their patients and their families.


  • The I.C.U. Is Not a Pause Button August 26, 2015
    Opinion Piece By Kristen McConnell, New York Times, August 26, 2015 A nurse explains dying in an intensive care unit and corrects the impression that being in ICU is a “pause.” “When I first realized that in intensive care we held lives in limbo more often than we saved lives, I asked a friend who was ...


  • ‘Rational Suicide’ Talk Increasing Among ‘Healthy’ Elderly April 8, 2015
    by Deborah Brauser Medscape April 08, 2015 Rational suicide is discussed at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) 2015 Annual Meeting. “Our main focus was on the fact that more and more individuals are expressing the wish to end their lives when they’re doing well, and we’re often called upon to see these ...


  • An Impossible Choice March 28, 2014
    by Joanne Faryon – KPBS Morning Edition This page of video and audio gives you a glimpse of what it is like in California subacute units. One video talks with the wife a man who lived in nursing home for 10 years in a vegetative state before dying. It covers subjects such as a Do Not Resuscitate ...


  • Dying the Good Death: The Kate Granger Story October 31, 2013
    by Lindsey Fitzharris in Medium Kate Granger, a 31-year-old physician who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of sarcoma and given less than 5 years to live decided to forgo chemotherapy. She made her decision based on quality of life. “Caricatures depicting the greedy physician running off with bags of money after his patient had succumbed to his ...


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