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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Art Buchwald's Choice: Hospice care

The well-known humorist Art Buchwald died on Jan. 17, after a year-long curtain call. He wrote a final newspaper column, excerpted here:

Now, to get down to the business at hand, I have had many choices concerning how I wanted to go. Most of them are very civilized, particulary hospice care. A hospice makes it very easy when you decide to go.

Everybody has his or her own opinion as to how you should go out. All my loved ones became very upset because they thought I should brave it out--which meant more dialysis. But here is the most important thing: This has been my decision. And it's a healthy one.

The person who was the most supportive in the end was my doctor, Mike Newman. Members of my family, while they didn't want me to go, were very supportive, too.

I chose to spend my final days in a hospice because it sounded like the most painless way to go, and you don't have to take a lot of stuff with you.

My mind keeps turning to food. I have not eaten all the eclairs I always wanted. I have found it hard to go past the Cheesecake Factory without at leave having one profiterole and a banana split.

I'd like to think some of my printed works will persevere--at least for three years--[maybe] it will wind up on a cereal box top.

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