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The Death Oasis

At this hotel, you can choose when and how to check-out.

Photo of Helen Da Silva
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I am a healthy 48 year old female. But this could all change tomorrow.

What if this does change tomorrow? Then what?

In my current state of health, I tend to view death, my death, in the abstract.

Today, I allow myself space to ponder my death. Where, when and how would I like to die if diagnosed with a terminal illness? Ideally, at home. But what if this were not an option. Where then?

As I allow my mind to wonder off leash, I envision a world where physician-assisted death is legalized. As my illness progresses, ravaging my body, claiming my quality of life, I am left to make a choice. My choice.

My thoughts keep circling around the word 'choice'.  Choice: "the act of choosing ... the opportunity or power to choose ... to make a decision".

Where would I choose to die? The death oasis.

Several weeks ago I came across an article about 'patient hotels' in Denmark. We design around health. We design around pleasure. Why not design around death?

How would I reimagine the end-of-life experience? By designing around death. By constructing a death hotel, where physician-assisted dying would be accessible to those who would choose to end their lives on their terms, in a dignified, humane manner when their suffering becomes so intolerable, and their pain so immeasurable, when their quality of life is substantially diminished, or non-existent.

I am not an architect. But if I were, I would construct a building made of glass - glass walls and roof to allow light in, and to allow for unobstructed views of the lush green gardens surrounding the building. This is where I would choose to die. This is my death oasis ~The Oasis Centre for Compassionate Dying.

What is of paramount importance to me at my end-of-life is 'choice'. The right to choose where, when and how I die.

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

Having control of where, when and how you die, will this change, if anything, how you choose to live your life until the end? The progression of a terminal illness cannot be controlled, but you can control where, when and how you will die - will this choice ease the fear of death? Would you check-in to a death hotel?

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Photo of Ilija

Hi Helen, enjoyed reading your post. Providing a terminally ill patient with a choice where they can die provides them with so much dignity, which I believe would make the last stage of their life much more comfortable. I believe if most people were given the choice of passing away in a hospital or a death hotel, they would choose the later. 

Photo of Helen Da Silva

Thank you Ilija, so very kind!

I would like to share a quote that inspires me to live fully:  "The more we can embrace the idea that we're going to die, the more we can really embrace the idea that we need to live" 

Let's all continue to be a force for good!  

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