Let's View Living as More Than the Quantity of Breaths We Take

Most medical professionals will try to keep you alive even though they know they won't succeed. Because that is what they are taught to do. 

Do you want it any other way? Do we want it any other way? Yes. We do, at least I do. 

I want the medical profession, the medical model we find in doctors’ offices and hospitals, to do everything possible to help me not only regain my health, but to return from an illness with the energy and ability to enjoy life. 

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Running, jumping, or even going back to work. But I do want to be able to respond, to enjoy, to feel, to interact. I even want to be able to laugh and to smile.

I’m willing to be limited in my physical functioning, even limited in my mental acuity but you, the medical professional, have to be honest with me. You have to tell me, up front, this is what your body is doing, this is how the disease is going to progress, this is what we can offer you, and this is what our treatment plan is likely or unlikely to achieve."

Give me ALL the options and possible outcomes so I can make a decision based on knowledge and truth. Let ME decide how much of a gambler I am in MY future and how I will end up living it.

Some people will say I am a fighter to my last breath and do EVERYTHING to keep breathing. Some people will say I’m not a gambler, I want to get as much living in while I have it, without being tied down to procedures with the hope that they work.

I want our medical profession, our medical model, to focus on PEOPLE that have diseases and health challenges. To focus on helping those people faced with health challenges to live their best life.

Today, our medical model treats DISEASES that people have. Its focus is on addressing whatever issue is threatening the heart's beating, the lungs' breathing, the kidneys' functioning. The focus seems to be on stopping whatever is trying to end a life. It seems there is a missing component here. Missing are considerations of whether life is just about breathing, circulation, and peeing; or is it about being able to experience, to feel, to enjoy what the heart, lungs and kidneys are giving us. 

Everyone and everything dies. Our bodies begin dying the moment we are born. The body is programmed to die. 

I’d like us to recognize quality of life as a part of healing. I would like those of us who have chosen the career of medicine to view living as more than the quantity of breaths we take. Do we make decisions on who lives and who dies? NO, but we do give people and their significant others honest, direct, clear, understandable information.

Something More about...   Let's View Living as More Than the Quantity of Breaths We Take

If you are diagnosed with a life limiting illness, my booklet A Time To Live, Living with a Life-Threatening Illness, addresses issues of comfort, nutrition, and sleep as they relate to the palliative care patient. It provides guidance to help live the best life you can within the confines of your body and disease.   

A Time to Live honors whatever life prolonging choices are being made while at the same time suggesting we look at the gifts life offers each day.   


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Lori Martin

I’ve learned so much from your writings Barbara, since I became a young widow 24 years ago. I purchase your booklets to give to friends who need to learn what you have to say. I just signed up for and End of Life Doulagivers certification course because of things I’ve learned from you. Bless you.
BK Books replied:
Hi Lori, good for you in becoming an end of life doula. We all need the information the courses are teaching and that puts us in the position of helping others. Blessings to you. Barbara

Lori Martin

Barbara, I found and fell in love with your writing as a young widow 24 years ago. I give your booklets out to those I encounter that I see need them. You’ve taught me so much. I have just enrolled in a holistic end of life Doulagiver training. Thank you for all you do.


Thank you for the ever enlightening insight into the human condition.
BK Books replied:
Leslie, you’re welcome. Blessings! Barbara

Audrey Joyce

Hallelujah! wonderful to see this concept in print. Wish it could be disseminate to everyone working in medicine. I think I will print this out and put in my wallet in the event I need to hand it to someone to understand my requests. Thank you very much.
BK Books replied:
Audrey, you’re welcome. Blessings! Barbara

Barbara Berck

You have said it all❗️Just exactly as we should be addressed. When is the medical community going to realize that even “old” people can make very good decisions. If only we could be identified by something beside our birthdate.
BK Books replied:
Hi Barbara my friend. We are on the same page as usual. Blessings! B.

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