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End of Life Planning

Hospice Nurses Teach Us to Honor Life By Honoring Death -- and Listening

Rosemary Baughn | Posted 05.24.2016 | Healthy Living
Rosemary Baughn

Is there a hospice care provider who has helped you or a loved one honor life by understanding and honoring the process of death? I encourage you to share your experience and continue this important conversation.

Cancer Is My Prison, and Intolerable Suffering Is My Sentence

Miguel Carrasquillo | Posted 05.11.2016 | Latino Voices
Miguel Carrasquillo

I have lived with the reality of a premature death for more than four years. Today, I live with blackouts, blindness, convulsions and more. Aside from these horrific symptoms, I live in constant fear of even worse days that lie ahead. What crime did I commit to be forced to die this way?

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Doing Your End-of-Life Planning

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 04.12.2016 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

To make matters worse, even when advance directives have been put in writing there are several reasons why patients may still not receive the care they have requested. Here are six common mistakes for you to avoid when doing your own end-of-life planning:

Why Families Must Engage In A Death And Dying Conversation

Carol Marak | Posted 04.15.2016 | Fifty
Carol Marak

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) believes the time is right for a national dialogue to normalize the emotions on death and dying. They think that the social trends point toward a growing willingness to share stories about the end-of-life care and that it will help drive more family discussions.

What Happened When My Greatest Fear Came True

Jane Duncan Rogers | Posted 03.29.2016 | Healthy Living
Jane Duncan Rogers

So let me ask you: Have you answered these kind of questions? Has someone you know answered them? Because actually taking the time to write down your answers may end up being one of the greatest gifts you could give your family and loved ones.

How to Start an End-of-Life Book Club in Your Community

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 02.25.2016 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

By creating an end-of-life book club in your community you will help others set off on a year-long exploration of the most important subject of life: how we bring to a close our final days. When have thoroughly examined this "fragile thought" of death then we can choose to live fully in each and every moment available to us.

Increasing Hospice Use Among Hispanics and Latinos: 'Walk With You Every Stage of This Journey'

Rosemary Baughn | Posted 11.19.2015 | Healthy Living
Rosemary Baughn

Hospice's palliative care model is increasingly recognized for bringing quality of life to end of life, yet Hispanics in America typically underuse it. Recent statistics show that about seven percent of hospice users in 2014 were Hispanic, while Hispanics make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, according to census figures.

How To Remain Hopeful At The End Of Your Life

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 11.16.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

People approach the loss of a life in different ways. Many never consider that they can choose an attitude toward dying. For patients and caregivers alike, deciding on an attitude to deal with difficult times can actually ease the suffering that so often surrounds the dying process.

Project HOPE: Overcoming Demographic Barriers to Hospice Care

Rosemary Baughn | Posted 10.09.2015 | Healthy Living
Rosemary Baughn

Launched this past summer, HOPE involves a targeted outreach to medical professionals and potential hospice patients in Harlem Hospital and the surrounding community it serves.

5 Reasons to Plan Ahead for the End-of-Life

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 09.04.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

The evidence is clear that you should start planning now for the end-of-life to make sure you have the peace of mind that you hope for during your last days.

Empathy and Decision Making

Mark Baer | Posted 08.17.2015 | Divorce
Mark Baer

We are both members of The Esquire Network (TEN) and he has been mentioning that we seem to have very similar approaches to the practice of law and suggesting that we should discuss it further over breakfast. We did just that.

How Washington D.C. Can Improve Care for Patients at the End of Life

Walter Smith | Posted 07.16.2016 | DC
Walter Smith

A MOST -- called a MOLST or POLST in other places -- guides conversations between a patient and the patient's medical team about specific treatment options and interventions in light of the expected course of the condition.

4 Practical Reasons To Consider Taking Out A Life Insurance Policy

Michael Lazar | Posted 07.15.2016 | Fifty
Michael Lazar

If for only the reason why we never really know when we'll go, a life insurance policy makes a lot of sense for most of us. The premiums are typically low and affordable (depending on the coverage of the plan that you elect and the provider), and the benefits can be well worth it just for that added peace-of-mind. Taking out a life insurance policy may be practical for you if any of the following four perks it offers are of concern.

Physician-Assisted Dying: Honest Choices

Steve Heilig | Posted 07.06.2016 | Politics
Steve Heilig

Physician-assisted dying is a complex and emotional issue. Here is a new perspective done with a leading physician with much direct experience - and who has quit one of his professional medical associations due to their lack of integrity on the topic.

3 Important Steps (at Any Age) to Prepare for Dying

Kyrié Sue Carpenter | Posted 06.29.2016 | Healthy Living
Kyrié Sue Carpenter

The simple view is that medicine exists to fight death and disease, and that is, of course, its most basic task. Death is the enemy. But the enemy has...

An Unexpected Father's Day Gift

Angelo Volandes | Posted 06.15.2016 | Healthy Living
Angelo Volandes

This is medicine's version of not seeing the forest for the trees. The vascular surgeon and cardiologist could repair my father's body, but how would that benefit him? Could he go on living in a way that was meaningful for him? Instead of searching for the next "fix," we need to know when to use -- or not use -- our growing tool kit of "fixes."

What One Woman Learned After Caring For Her Husband Through Lung Cancer

Posted 04.07.2015 | Healthy Living

In 2005, Laura and her husband Tim opened a bakery in Ypsilanti, Michigan, fulfilling a lifelong goal of Tim's. In July 2012, Tim was diagnosed with s...

5 Things Doctors Get Wrong

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 04.19.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

I know we doctors can do a better job and it is time that we reform our own behavior. We can change health care for the better if we are willing to change ourselves first.

Why Some Doctors Struggle With the End of Life

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 02.07.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Ideally, we doctors must maintain that passion for life, but we must also make room for death, since every patient we treat will ultimately die from one cause or another. Doctors need to cultivate a view of life that includes the reality of death.

One Of The Greatest Gifts You Could Ever Give Your Family

Aileen Clancy Ruess | Posted 01.20.2015 | Fifty
Aileen Clancy Ruess

It was heart wrenching to receive a phone call from a friend who had to stand between her two brothers in the hospital waiting room last night. Her two brothers were ready to fight outside of the Intensive Care Unit where their mother lay on a ventilator. For three days my friend's family gathered as they heard the news of her weakening condition.

The Important Conversation Almost No One Seems To Be Having

Cindy Capitani | Posted 01.16.2015 | Fifty
Cindy Capitani

My grandmother asked me to stay with her until it's over, and I can only think of a few reasons she'd ask me: She knows I'll talk about anything and won't mince words; she knows I will do anything for her if I'm able; and she knows I can be a calming presence. It took me a very long time to become a calming presence; it's still a daily practice.

Amanda Gutterman

Why We Need To Start Talking About Death Again

HuffingtonPost.com | Amanda Gutterman | Posted 11.04.2014 | Books

Whether you call it “assisted suicide” or “death with dignity,” stories about people choosing to die on their own terms have been making the n...

Tips for Talking With Your Loved Ones About the End of Life

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 12.27.2014 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

How do we go about engaging in these very important conversations when we meet resistance from those we most need to listen and talk with us? Here are some suggestions for "talking the talk" and breaking through that resistance.

Letting Someone You Love Die: The Irony Behind a Living Will

Dr. Candi K. Cann | Posted 12.08.2014 | Healthy Living
Dr. Candi K. Cann

In the end, living wills are a gift -- to yourself and to your family. Because even though I wanted more than anything to leave my mother on life support, I knew that by taking her off of it, I was supporting her vision of life, and helping her control how she died.

Americans Don't Plan on Dying

Paul Spector, M.D. | Posted 12.03.2014 | Healthy Living
Paul Spector, M.D.

Many people who do not want to die in an intensive care unit, intubated, on a respirator, pierced by a web of intravenous lines are dying this way. For these individuals, this is worse than death. We cannot prevent death, but we can dictate how we want to be cared for at the end of our lives.