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Posted on September 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Coming out next month is yet another book on how to avoid living with late-stage dementia. The title says it all: “O, Let Me Not Get Alzheimer’s, Sweet Heaven!” This demand motivates much of my research on VSED.

Hardly a day goes by without some newspaper story, personal memoir or medical report referring to Alzheimer’s Disease, arousing personal fears or memories of relatives and friends whose lives have been changed permanently by this condition. Grim as it is to suffer the ravages of this disease, many people are as concerned about the last few years and months of life as an Alzheimer’s patient as they are about the earlier day-to-day physical and cognitive defects.

In this book, Dr Colin Brewer explains the condition, with case histories, and addresses the issue of assisted dying, usually discussed as an option with terminal physical illness, as one way patients and their carers might gain peace of mind as the disease is diagnosed and its uncertain progress addressed. For people who would like to feel that they will have some control over the end of their lives before the disease does its worst, Colin Brewer supplies detailed guidance on such topics as advance decision-making and living wills.

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