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December 3, 2022
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Life Support
Produced by: Alex Blumberg
Dying is no longer something that simply happens. More often, it's something someone decides to let happen. Patients and their families and doctors are forced to answer questions they didn't even consider before. Is being kept alive the same as living? When have we crossed the line from prolonging life, to extending death? We follow a woman struggling with these questions and her father's life.

Program Credits

Life Support was produced by Alex Blumberg. It aired as part of the WBEZ series, Chicago Matters.


Living Wills Helpful, but Unlikely to Solve Most End-of-Life Dilemmas
The limitations of legally required advanced directives,commonly known as living wills,in communicating to physicians and family members how people should be cared for in their last hours.

When a 'Good Death' Isn't for Everyone
by Benedict Carey,Los Angeles Time,August 20,Shayesteh Afshar,68 years,could not have wanted to go this way,with family and doctors still arguing,even as her body was shutting down...

Partnership of Caring: America's Voices of the Dying
This is a national nonprofit organization that partners individuals and organizations in a powerful collaboration to improve how people die in our society...

Living Wills and More:Everything You Need to Ensure That All Your Medical Wishes Are Followed
by: Terry J. Barnett 1992
A step-by-step guide to documenting your medical wishes.

Planning for Uncertainty: A Guide to Living Wills and Other Advance Directives of Health Care
by: David John Doukas, M.D., and William Reichel, M.D. 1993
This book explains why it is important to decide now what one wants and does not want at the end of life--and shows how to document those preferences and have them carried out...

Lost Lullaby
by: Deborah Golden Alecson, Foreword by Kathleen Nolan 1995
A mother tells the story of her daughter's birth and the following two months spent in neo-natal intensive care fighting for her life. Alecson chronicles her battles with doctors, technology, and the law over her daughter's life and death.

Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide: For And Against
by: Gerald Dworkin, R.G. Frey and Sissela Bok 1998
An ethical debate over physician-assisted suicide from prominent philosophers and ethicists.

Vital Signs: Decisions That Determine the Quality of Life and Health
by: Mark Blocher 1992
This book offers insight into the difficulties of maintaining good health and quality of life.

Arguing Euthanasia: The Controversy Over Mercy Killing, Assisted Suicide & the
by: Jonathan D. Moreno (Editor) 1995
A compilation of essays that form the core of the debate over euthanasia from patients and doctors.

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Programs by Alex Blumberg

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