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The Most Important Conversation You’ll Ever Have

Posted on 09/27/2012

CNN: Ellen Goodman and her mother talked about every subject under the sun, except one: how her mom wanted to live out the end of her life. From time to time, when somebody they knew ended up on a respirator, her mother would say, in a heartfelt but offhand way, “If I’m like that, pull the plug.” But when the time came, it wasn’t that simple. As her mother descended into dementia in her late 80s and began to suffer the debilitating symptoms of old age, Goodman, a Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist, was left to make decisions about her care— decisions that often left Goodman herself feeling uncertain, unprepared, blindsided.

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