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The Unconditional Love of Companion Animals

Allowing companion animals to join the end of life journey brings the solace of unconditional love.

Photo of Liz Fukushima
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A 2013 New York Times "The New Old Age" blog posting cites more than 2 dozen hospitals that allow individuals to bring their companion animals into the hospital.It specifically mentions two New York Area facilities that allow personal pets to say around the clock.

"On Long Island, North Shore University Hospital allows personal pets to stay with patients around the clock in its 10-bed palliative care unit, as does Hospice Inn, a freestanding 18-bed hospice facility that’s part of North Shore-LIJ Health System."

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

Our pets, not being burdened by our personal concepts and cultural constructs about death, can bring deep emotional comfort and guidance that the process we are going through is natural and not something to fear.

Tell us about your work experience:

I practice Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, teach meditation, and am enrolled in a Clinical Bioethics Master's Degree Program.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Teresa Wagner

It is important for both the dying person and the animal to have time together near the person's death. Animals grieve too and this time to be together can mitigate grief for the animal and anxiety for a person who may not want to die before being with their beloved animal. Design spaces and policies so this closure can occur.

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