Many painful emotional issues face family members and friends when a loved one becomes terminally ill. These include communicating the diagnosis to others; handling the physical and emotional exhaustion of intensive caregiving; and deciding when or whether to engage hospice care services.
I myself believe strongly in the power of miracles, however, I will not put my life on hold for something that may not manifest itself in my lifetime. I would much rather be prepared for the wreckage, than live in fear of it.
Dr. Atul Gawande's Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End provides healthy doses of reality - the realities of disease, deterioration, debilitation, decline, dementia, dependence, despondency, and demise.
Green's novel (now a movie) confronts the question at the heart of this encounter, one which we all must eventually face: how do we honestly talk about life while remaining fully conscious of our death.
Congress honored palliative care for terminally ill patients at the behest of American citizens, thus enabling Medicare and Medicaid funding. The higher, humanistic calling of hospice must not be regulated or prosecuted out of existence.
The answer to this question depends greatly on one factor that I haven't found mentioned in discussions concerning California's SB 1462, which would allow early release for inmates with a prognosis of 6 months or less.