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Communication aid for the dying and their families

Last words often can't be spoken.

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Five months ago, my amazing mother in law died after a very recent diagnosis of cancer. Within two days of her first and only admittance into a hospital, she was in Medical ICU, where she died two weeks later.

Because of the truly violent and rapid spread of the cancer (lungs, heart, brain) and because she was on a CPAP (full face oxygen mask), she couldn't communicate what she desperately wanted us to know. We couldn't hear her when she tried to speak, the mask couldn't be removed for more than a few seconds, and she was too weak to write. We never knew what she wanted us to know, before she died. It was excruciating for everyone.

With the technology that allows Stephen Hawking to communicate - which will be offered open source - surely there might be an option for the dying and voiceless to make ther final thoughts known.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

It would be wonderful if final thoughts and wishes could be expressed, even if the patient can't speak or write.


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Photo of Lauriane

Hello Kim, I'm so sorry for your loss.
One of my friend lost his uncle exactly the same way. I remember that he was feeling so guilty to be able to speak when his uncle was barely able to speak. Furthermore it was hard for him to realize that he only had a few days to be with him, whereas a month before everything was fine.

As this situation is hard for the patient, because he's the one suffering from the disease, it is also hard for the family or friends that have to see it. This is a fact that is unfortunately often forgotten.
I believe that new technologies would be able to help patients in needs to communicate with their families in theirs last days. The technology that helps Stephen Hawking to communicate is a good example of that, and it's really smart of you to suggest this in this case. 

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