As a proponent of responsible DIY medicine, I love the idea put forth by Alex Beam in a column he wrote exploring the idea of writing your own obituary.
[The cynics chime in: “That’s where you’ll wind up if you try to “do” medicine yourself.”]
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who died in February, had his obituary in the NY Times initially inked in 1996, more than a decade before he actually died.** Since he was a figure of historic importance, we can’t blame the paper for being well-prepared.
Folks interested in the do-it-yourself approach won’t likely need to go to such lengths to create their own obituaries. Columnist Beam gives a couple of great examples of folks that have made good on such efforts:
Skype and videoconferencing have surpassed the tipping point of consumer adoption. Grandparents Skype with grandchildren living far, far away. Soldiers converse daily with families from Afghanistan and Iraq war theatres. Workers streamline telecommuting by videoconferencing with colleagues in geographically distributed offices.
In the era of DIY’ing all aspects of life, more health citizens are taking to DIY’ing health — and, increasingly, looking beyond physical health for convenient access to mental and behavioral health services.