Vadim Anatoliyevich Kondratyuk and his daughters in an undated family photo before his death after complications from a dental infection.
The recent story of a young California husband and father who died after suffering complications from a dental problem serves as a sad reminder of the important ties between oral health and overall health.
Vadim Anatoliyevich Kondratyuk, 26, a long-haul truck driver, was headed east to New York when he started feeling pain in the lower left side of his mouth.
“He pulled over in Oklahoma to see a dentist, who diagnosed an infection and prescribed antibiotics,” recounted health reporter Sammy Caiola in a Jan. 31 Sacramento Bee story. Continue reading
Maintaining an emotional distance when reporting on life and death issues can be challenging; even more so when you’ve been following a subject for months, waiting for him to die.
Tampa Bay Times reporter Lane DeGregory wanted to investigate the frustrations many terminally ill patients experience surrounding aid-in-dying laws. She connected with a counselor from Compassion & Choices who introduced her to the key players in her story, “Prince Vinegar’s Last Stand.” Continue reading
Are there different levels of death? Are you alive if you’re brain dead but on life support?
Many journalists and members of the public are unclear about the nuances of brain death. According to this new tip sheet from author and researcher Alan Cassels, this confusion directly affects issues such as organ donation rates.
Cassels notes that while a patient’s organs can be “kept alive” while awaiting transplantation, brain death is legally the same as cardiopulmonary death – death is death. It matters because the organ donor transplant list keeps growing. Continue reading
While the idea of hospice and palliative care are slowly becoming part of the national health conversation, many people still struggle when it comes to talking about end-of-life issues.
Just like we all want a “successful life,” we also want to have a “successful death.” But what exactly does that mean? As new research shows, the definition varies depending on the stakeholder. Continue reading
Until the 1920s, most Americans died relatively quickly and at home, surrounded by things and people – including their minister, priest or rabbi – they knew and who knew them. And, because they died where they lived, and among those who cared for them, the fear, pain, relief and release that death brought was common knowledge.
Today, however, death and the dying process are a mystery to most Americans. Only rarely, and usually in a crisis situation, do we get a peek behind the curtain at the anger, fear, pain, guilt, yearning, etc., that dying people experience, whether they are being cared for in a health care facility or at home. Continue reading