TIME Magazine Publishes Controversial “How to Die” Article

TIME Magazine has raised a lot of eyebrows since publishing a front page article on Monday entitled “How to Die.”

In the article, reporter Joe Klein outlines the journey he went through when his parents became sick and were hospitalized. While controversy exists as to whether Klein is promoting eugenics or euthanasia in his article, he claims that before his mother became seriously ill, she had left instructions that “she didn’t want to be prolonged.”

Klein explained his article on a TIME video, stating that when his parents were transferred to a nursing home, doctors with the Geisinger Medical Clinic told him that even if he kept his father hydrated via a feeding tube, he would only return to the hospital in dire condition weeks later. Therefore, he believed that the information allowed him to make a decision to let his father go, knowing how he would die.

Klein stated that he preferred this type of medical service, rather than one where doctors would continue to send the patient to a specialist or run additional tests. He believes that doctors are pocketing money by performing services that may be “unnecessary” to dying patients.

However, readers such as Mike Adams, a.k.a. The Health Ranger, are livid about the article.

“Maybe this should have been written by Doctor Kevorkian,” he stated in a video commentary regarding the ideas presented in “How to Die”. “It’s sort of like ‘Pull the Plug Care.’ You’re in the hospital dying, you need some life-saving procedures  — Don’t worry, they’re just going to pull the plug, stop the feeding, turn off the machines and call it ‘compassionate.’ And they’re going to talk about how much money they save and how good it is for the economy.”

“That level of candor is the kind of thing that most people don’t get from most fee-for-service medical doctors,” Klein said about the information he received regarding his father’s failing health. “And that’s what made the death of my parents tolerable and easier than it might have been. In some ways, it was even satisfying, because I got to make the decisions as a part of the team; I got to say goodbye, and my parents went with dignity and serenity.”

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  • Sherrie Jowers

    I think Joe Klein is on to something. For five years, every six months I took my father to a urologist, a neurologist, a pulmonologist. He suffered from COPD, slight dementia, and, also had a permanent catheter. He frequently went into the hospital for pneumonia, had x-rays, blood tests, etc. At the age of 85 he was cleared for surgery for his enlarged prostate. However, my mother who was 84 at the time, fell and suffered a head injury, subarachnoid hemorrage and subdural hemorrage. She spent three years in and out of surgery and rehabilitation. So Dad’s surgery was postponed. At age 88, Dad had to go into a lock-down facility because the dementia worsened. It was a horrible ordeal. I asked the nurse and doctor for hospice. The request went unanswered. He was thrown out of bed by another patient. Dad died two days later. His autopsy said he had lung cancer that had metatasized and his liver was 90% consumed by this. Mother is still alive and we do the best we can. I think the Geisinger Model sounds wonderful. I think Mike Adams and those who agree with him are grossly misinformed about dying and the families who have to make these lonely decisions. Our experience has been horrifying.