October 30, 2014 |
THESE DAYS in America you can do all sorts of things legally, if you don't mind leaving home. For example, if you want to cavort with prostitutes, we have a state for that. If you want to smoke marijuana, we have two states for that, Colorado and Washington, and may soon have more. And if you are gay and happen to live in a state that still has laws against same-sex marriage, you can travel with your beloved to one of 32 states that now permit same-sex ceremonies. But, if you are afflicted with a terminal illness that entails the near-certainty of a lingering, painful death, your options are much more limited.
July 30, 2014 |
TRENTON - A slight majority of New Jersey residents support legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with lethal medication prescribed by a doctor, a new poll released Monday found. About the same percentage of people say they would personally want that option, often referred to as physician-assisted suicide. The bill was scheduled for a vote in June in the Assembly but pulled at the last minute when it became clear it would come up just short of the 41 votes needed to pass.
May 25, 2014 |
Veda Showers, 84, often gets lost in time. But she finds herself on familiar ground when Debbie Ganci comes through the door. Both Showers and Ganci are military veterans and women of faith. Showers has congestive heart failure, diabetes, and pulmonary issues; Ganci is a pastoral counselor with Holy Redeemer Homecare and Hospice in Runnemede. They've been meeting biweekly for two years at Showers' Mullica Hill home. "Originally, Veda declined a visit. But when she heard I was military, that was my foot in the door," says Ganci, 55, a Presbyterian minister and mother of two. Ganci's specialty is helping veterans and their families cope with terminal illness - and prepare for its inevitable conclusion.
February 14, 2014
WHEN Attorney General Kathleen Kane declined to defend the state's anti-gay marriage statute last year, it seemed she could be the political messiah who'd drag Pennsylvania into the realm of progress - especially if she ran, as anticipated, for governor. That impression was shattered the following month, when she inexplicably prosecuted a dutiful, loving daughter for allegedly assisting her father's suicide. Kane lost the case this week against Philadelphia nurse Barbara Mancini, which was thrown out by Schuylkill County Judge Jacqueline Russell.
September 15, 2012 |
I now write in defense of beautifully staged, meticulously lighted, handsomely dressed, genuinely acted, and shrewdly contrived soppiness. I make no apologies. You'll either detest the new musical Love Story , which has all that and more at the Walnut Street Theatre, or you'll give yourself over to stunning manipulation. You may regret it later - you've been played like a soulful cello by a cast of Yo-Yo Mas - but while you're being sucked in you'll be fully in the moment. That's what happened to me. In retrospect, it happened against all odds, in a show that has so much kissing, I wonder about the production's ChapStick bill; that's a stretch at 100 intermissionless minutes; that offers stereotyped characters cut from cardboard; that - like the book it came from - is a jarring mixture of glib repartee, lovey mush, and, finally, overwhelming sadness.
May 3, 2012 |
DEAR ABBY: When my husband, "Jeff," and I married, we drew up a medical proxy and health-care directives should future incapacitation arise. Jeff is now terminally ill with brain cancer and has about five months to live. I had to quit working because Jeff is now my full-time job. As his illness progresses, we have discussed placing him in a hospice. But the closer he gets to death, the more he changes his mind. He demands that I lift, jerk and pull him in and out of bed. He needs assistance eating, dressing, bathing and using the toilet and is in a wheelchair.
February 6, 2012
NEW YORK - Ben Gazzara, whose powerful dramatic performances brought an intensity to a variety of roles and made him a memorable presence in such iconic productions over the decades as the original "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway and the film "The Big Lebowski," died on Friday. He was 81. In 1955, he originated the role on Broadway of Brick Pollitt, the disturbed alcoholic son and failed football star in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. " In 1965, he moved on to TV stardom in "Run for Your Life," a drama about a workaholic lawyer who, diagnosed with a terminal illness, quits his job and embarks on a globe-trotting attempt to squeeze a lifetime of adventures into the time he has left.
January 16, 2012 |
CHICAGO - Peyton "Pete" Dralle wasted little time after he learned doctors could do no more to treat his throat cancer. He took spur-of-the-moment trips, got his affairs in order and, when he finally agreed to care at San Diego Hospice, he documented his life story. Using a technique called dignity therapy, psychologist Lori Montross interviewed Dralle five months before his death about meaningful life moments, lessons he'd learned and those he wished to pass on to loved ones.
July 14, 2011 |
An excised portion of a killer's brain could reveal whether he had a terminal disease when he attacked a family in its Douglass Township home this month. The Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday that it had removed Mark Geisenheyner's pituitary gland during an autopsy and sent it for testing. The move came days after reports emerged that the Pottstown man had told several people that inoperable tumors had been diagnosed shortly before his rampage. Geisenheyner, 51, died July 4 in a standoff with police in Trainer, two days after he opened fire on a family in its Montgomery County vacation home.
April 14, 2011
DEAR ABBY: We have been friends with "The Bickersons" for quite some time. They never have a kind word to say to each other. Mr. B. now has a terminal illness, and you would think they'd be kinder to each other at a time like this. On the contrary, their fights are more groundless and vicious than ever. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be around them. This is when they need friends more than ever, but they're driving everyone away! What can we do? - Love Is All We Need DEAR LOVE: Although you might imagine that when a spouse has a terminal illness it would bring the couple closer together, that is not always the case.