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End of Life

Why Forgiveness Is The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 06.30.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

As Jack's mother grew weaker, another little hospice miracle unfolded: it seemed that the weaker Jack's mother became, the sweeter she became. She stopped cursing her son and began to melt the ice she had packed around her heart.

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

Kyrié Sue Carpenter | Posted 06.29.2015 | 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...

Advance Healthcare Planning Part One: Not Just for Old People

Judith Johnson | Posted 06.19.2015 | Healthy Living
Judith Johnson

There's been a big push in recent years to educate the public about Advance Healthcare Planning (AHP). The focus has been primarily on the forms ...

Choosing a Better Death

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 05.12.2015 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

The movement toward "good" death - legalized medical aid in dying - has been growing for decades in the U.S., but has been gaining momentum and attention in recent months.

Hawaiian Luaus, Leis and... End-of-Life Care?

Angelo Volandes | Posted 05.11.2015 | Hawaii
Angelo Volandes

White sand beaches and sweet-scented leis are the tropical images most people conjure of Hawaii. Now it is conceivable that the Aloha State will help untangle the Gordian knot of end-of-life healthcare issues.

6 Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 05.08.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Still it is difficult to face our own discomfort with death and offer support to someone who has suffered a loss if we don't know what to do or say in that situation. Here are some suggestions for offering your help to a grieving friend:

A Doctor's Response to Angelina Jolie

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 06.14.2015 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

And so, reading your words in the New York Times last week gave me great hope. Although medical culture is just beginning to shift, I have come to believe that, for now, this new paradigm in medicine needs to be led by lay people. And you are the quintessential lay leader to start this conversation.

How to Plan the Perfect Funeral

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 05.28.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

As a hospice medical director I've been to a lot of funerals, but only one of them has been labeled "perfect" in my memory. Over the years I have made...

Life Priorities, When Chasing

Lisa Guest | Posted 05.25.2015 | Entertainment
Lisa Guest

It's always a toss up of priorities. I know as I'm gorging on good material that there are moments I should savor. But the total package is so seductive that I can't be bothered to be polite, reasonable, health conscious or disciplined.

I Have Cancer -- and I Want the Option to Die on My Own Terms

Jennifer Glass | Posted 05.10.2015 | Healthy Living
Jennifer Glass

Our first year of marriage was not the honeymoon Harlan and I envisioned. At a time when I should have been writing him sweet love notes, instead I wrote him into my health care directive.

Stanford Program Helps Vietnamese RN Realize His Eldercare Calling

Andrew Lam | Posted 05.01.2015 | Impact
Andrew Lam

In 2012, Mai attended a Palliative Care Education and Training program for improving end-of-life care, held at Stanford University School of Medicine. His participation turned out to have a big effect on the Vietnamese community in San Jose.

Medicine at the Mercy of a Metaphor: Why We Need to Speak Differently About Death and Disease

Pranay Sinha | Posted 04.27.2015 | Healthy Living
Pranay Sinha

I believe that leaving the metaphor of war behind and finding more appropriate imagery will change health care for the better. After all, patients need doctors, not generals.

Why One Woman With Lung Cancer Photographed Herself Every Day For A Year

The Huffington Post | Erin Schumaker | Posted 02.24.2015 | Healthy Living

In 2013, Jennifer Glass was diagnosed with stage IIIB lung cancer. To help document her life, she took a photo every day and then, in March 2014, she ...

Nursing Job Satisfaction, Safety and Productivity

Abby Pingree | Posted 04.22.2015 | Healthy Living
Abby Pingree

I am aware that "get in and get out" is an attitude one must adopt to complete a very busy work day and still have time and energy to manage a home life. I feel this is not right. I understand that days like this occasionally occur but when this is the accepted norm it is time to re-think our nursing business model.

5 Action Steps to Improve End-of-Life Care in Your Community

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 03.27.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

While we may not be able to singlehandedly transform the death industry in our country, each one of us can do something in our lives and our own communities to make a difference. We just have to be creative and strongly motivated to implement change.

What Might Have Been

David Morris | Posted 03.17.2015 | Politics
David Morris

Since its passage in 2009, ferocious opposition to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) had proven a devastatingly effective electoral strategy for Republicans.

5 Movies to Jumpstart Your End-of-Life Conversations

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 03.04.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Once we figure out how we feel about our own death and dying, the next step we must take -- initiating the conversation with our loved ones -- is often the most difficult step to complete.

Saying Goodbye, and Hello to 2015

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 03.01.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Fran Moreland Johns

My friend M has died, just shy of the old year's end and significantly decreasing the joy of the new. But her dying was full of life lessons about saying goodbye, being grateful and trying to ring in a better planet for the days ahead.

Elder Suicide Pill: Bad Idea

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 01.20.2015 | Fifty
Fran Moreland Johns

A suicide pill for everyone over 85? Not the wisest plan to suggest right now. But it is, in fact, a possibility put forth by Joyce Appleby, Professor Emerita of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

6 Steps to Rise Above Your Fear of Death

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 01.11.2015 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Death represents the ultimate unknown, a territory in which we have no experience and no control. So it is natural to feel fear when we think about death and also natural to avoid those thoughts whenever possible.

Err on the Side of the Patient

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 01.06.2015 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

A Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment is a legal document that is signed by a physician or nurse practitioner, outlining the type of medical care her patient should be given if critically ill. Unlike a DNR, which is active only for a particular hospitalization, the POLST is valid anywhere and anytime, unless the patient rips it up.

Will God Condemn Brittany Maynard for Ending Her Life?

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 01.03.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Moffic

Jewish tradition has a nuanced approach to this challenge. Thoughtful rabbis and scholars disagree. What is clear, however, is the various factors that matter in making the decision.

Whose Right to Die?

Chris Peak | Posted 12.22.2014 | Politics
Chris Peak

There is one indisputable fact in the world, that upon birth, every person has every reasonable right to live and live their life for as long as their body can do so. That is not up for debate. What seems to be, however, is whether that person has a right to die.

Choked by Love

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 12.17.2014 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

Her son was feeding her like she was a little baby. A hospital cafeteria-issued tuna fish sandwich sat atop a soggy swatch of cellophane on the palm ...

Good Death vs. Doctor Knows Best

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 12.16.2014 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Perhaps doctors will eventually all be adequately trained in pain management and palliative care. But even then -- and "then" is a very long way off -- must the doctor always know best? Why can't I, the patient, the person facing my own dying, be the one in control?