Only Love Remains: Lessons from the Dying on the Meaning of Life: Euthanasia or Palliative Care?
What happens to the dying in the final days and weeks of their lives? What emotions come to the surface, and what do they want to talk about?
Attilio Stajano, a volunteer in the palliative care ward of a Brussels hospital, presents a series of deeply moving personal encounters with seriously ill patients. Those who are dying, he discovers, have much to teach the living. Their stories are all different, but they share one thing in common—when all is said and done, only love remains.
How should we respond to the challenge of death as a society and as individuals? We have an opportunity to choose patience and sensitivity, giving dignity to those reaching the end of their lives—even when those lives appear to have no further purpose. This period leading to death can be full of profound experiences, telling us much about the meaning of life and the abiding nature of love. If we see a terminally ill individual as an inconvenience, on the other hand, we forfeit the possibility of discovering unexpected resources in ourselves—undiscovered tenderness, touch, and readiness to assist.
Underlying this book is the momentous and very current debate over euthanasia. In a comprehensive appendix, the author reports on the provision of palliative care services and the laws governing euthanasia in European and English-speaking countries around the world, as well as the implications these facts have for the way we value and care for the dying.
C O N T E N T S:
Preface by Marie de Hennezel
An Old Acquaintance
They Still Have Something to Tell Us
Live the Present
The Family Doctor
Appendix: Palliative Care and End-of-Live Legislation
United States of America
About the Author
Attilio Stajano works as a volunteer in the palliative care ward of a Brussels hospital. He has been an industrial researcher at IBM, administrator of research program on Information Technology of the European Commission, university professor on Industrial EU Research for Competitiveness in Bologna and at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and European Union Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh.
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