A book for the general public by Thomas A. Preston, professor of medicine, about how to prepare for the end of life, is due in bookstores in October. The book is titled Final Victory: Taking Charge of the Last Stages of Life and Preparing for the Best Possible Death
(Prima Publishing, 2000, 240 pp).
Preston writes about the dying process, the limits of modern medicine, and living wills. He describes which treatments reduce suffering, which prolong it, and how far doctors can go to eliminate pain. He discusses how to absorb a serious diagnosis, understand life-expectancy statistics, decide among treatment options, talk with loved ones, and take charge of medical decisions. The book's aim is to teach people how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the agony of modern dying.
Preston, who directed cardiology services at Pacific Medical Center until his retirement in 1998, is a UW School of Medicine Teacher Superior in Perpetuity.