How to dignify a death
I chose Dr. Kaufman to be my primary physician because I saw her sensitivity to both the emotional and physical needs as well as the desires of my active, energetic, and sprightly eighty some year old cousin. Dr. Kaufman was my cousin's primary care physician. When my cousin was hospitalized with a botched procedure by another doctor, and whose life was saved by a third, my cousin was on life support and if she survived would at best had a marginal, painful existence completely at odds with her whole life style and wishes. At the meeting of all doctors and myself to determine the road ahead, as I was the executor of my cousin's living will, a decision had to be made whether to continue the life support machines. Others wanted to, simply to save a life without regard for the kind of life that might entail, but Dr. Kaufman and I, both of whom knew intimately my cousin's desires, determined that the life support machines should be withdrawn. At the close of the meeting, I asked Dr. Kaufman, who greatly impressed me at that meeting, if she would be my primary physician because I wanted a doctor who was sensitive to and understood not only the medical requirements but also the emotional needs of the patient, and Dr. Kaufman exemplified that to a degree I had not seen before. Dr. Kaufman agreed. While Dr, Kaufman did not save my life, she may yet save my death by knowing my own emotional desires.