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End of Life

To Live the Fullness of Life

Megan McDowell, MSW, LPC | Posted 02.07.2017 | Impact
Megan McDowell, MSW, LPC

On December 6, 2016 one of the people I have loved most in my life returned home to God at the age of 54 after a fourteen year journey with Stage 4 B...

Talking Your Way Into a Better Death

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 12.20.2016 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

"If you do something to my body that I do not want," says physician/author Angelo Volandes, "it is assault and battery. But if I do the same thing to ...

How To Take Charge Of Your Own Death

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 10.28.2016 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

I met Brenda when she decided to seek hospice care. In addition to kidney failure, she had numerous ailments including painful, golf-ball-sized sores throughout her body.

Counterpane: Notes on Max Ritvo

Daniel Maidman | Posted 09.22.2016 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

preparatory sketch for a painting of Max Ritvo (detail) Daniel Maidman, December 2014 Everything that follows results from one very incomplete perspe...

'I Thought I Was Prepared To Be My Mother's Healthcare Proxy But I Was Not'

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 09.21.2016 | Fifty
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

I was uncomfortable about making this decision for her, even though her healthcare provider and I had met with her some months earlier to reaffirm her advance directives and to have her sign a new form that consolidated her directives.

Elephant in a Tiny Room: A Family "Secret"

Darya Teesewell | Posted 05.31.2016 | Queer Voices
Darya Teesewell

Nicole bravely tackled the elephant. "So, forgive me for being forward and for asking this so bluntly, but what is keeping you from telling your kids about being trans?"

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.

Why Diane Rehm's New Book Is A Must-Read

Trish Vradenburg | Posted 05.13.2016 | Fifty
Trish Vradenburg

Diane Rehm, the treasured NPR host of The Diane Rehm Show and friend to UsAgainstAlzheimer's, has written a deeply personal, profoundly moving, incredibly honest book about her life before and after her husband's death.

My Mom: What I Want You to Know

Rumni Saha | Posted 05.09.2016 | Parents
Rumni Saha

How I Wish For This Again Where do I begin? Well − I had a magical childhood, largely because of my mom. Growing up I never saw her rest for a minu...

Observing the Wish to Die at Home

Rosemary Baughn | Posted 04.20.2016 | Healthy Living
Rosemary Baughn

Sometimes it's hard to understand how such a seemingly small gesture could ever be enough, but what our hospice workers see time and time again, is the power of just that single act: holding a hand, and letting go.

Justin Trudeau's Government Introduces Assisted Suicide Bill

The Huffington Post | Lydia Oconnor | Posted 04.17.2016 | Home

In a long-awaited move, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government introduced legislation on Thursday that would legalize assisted suicide fo...

What Doctors Wish You Knew About CPR

Kristine Scruggs, MD | Posted 04.13.2016 | Healthy Living
Kristine Scruggs, MD

The end of life is a part of life. It should be part of our legacy, not a desperate last-ditch effort to escape the inescapable. Talk to your family and your doctor now and on a regular basis as your condition changes. Take control of your legacy.

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:

What It's Like To Help The Dying As An End-Of-Life Doula

Debbie Slevin | Posted 04.10.2016 | Fifty
Debbie Slevin

When I tell people that I am an end-of-life doula, their first question is: what is that? The second question is why? I tell them: I do it because I can. I can 'do' death. The dying process does not frighten me. It might when it is my turn to look death in the eye -- but for now -- I am unafraid.

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.

Pronouncing Death

David Duong | Posted 03.15.2017 | GPS for the Soul
David Duong

As I conduct the final exam, I reflect on the life of my patient -- this person that I have had the pleasure to connect with over the past days and weeks.

What the End-of-Life Movement Can Learn From the Natural Childbirth Movement

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 03.03.2017 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Those of us who long for a similar breakthrough in the end-of-life movement would be wise to study this history and the "lessons learned" from decades of struggle for a humane, respectful and dignified approach to the special event of birth.

Who Should Bear a Dying Man's Burden?

Pranay Sinha | Posted 03.02.2017 | Healthy Living
Pranay Sinha

As physicians, we know that the patients are suffering. We know that their chances of returning to the life they desire are nonexistent. We know that this is a difficult decision. Should we respect their right to self-determination and help them continue this difficult existence until they decide to stop?

How to Build Your Own Support Community As an End-of-Life Worker

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 02.18.2017 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Now, more than ever before, there are opportunities for forming relationships with like-minded individuals. So let's look at some specific ways to find support and build a network around you that can sustain you through the challenges of sacred end-of-life work:

Repeat After Me: 'Hospice Means More Care, Not Less.'

Steve Landers MD,MPH | Posted 02.08.2017 | Healthy Living
Steve Landers MD,MPH

It is a practical and tangible way to help people continue to live at home and in the community, to live life to its fullest with dignity and comfort, to live more connected to family, friends, and faith, to live more reflective on one's history and more intentionally about one's legacy.

Meet The Only U.S. Presidential Candidate Promising Immortality

Fusion | Farah_Mohamed | Posted 08.01.2016 | Home

This is Episode 5 of Real Future, Fusion’s new documentary series about technology and society. Previous episodes available at If you...

What The Dreams Of The Dying Reveal About The Human Spirit

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 02.03.2016 | Religion

Dr. Christopher Kerr was 12 years old when his father died. In the man's final moments of life, Kerr said in a recent TEDx talk, his father reached ou...

Dying On Your Own Terms

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 01.22.2017 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Do Not Resuscitate? Allow Natural Death? Do everything to keep me alive? Whatever happens, I don't want tubes down my throat! Keep me out of Intensive Care Units!

How to Write Your Own Obituary

Jim T. Miller | Posted 12.28.2016 | Fifty
Jim T. Miller

For many people, writing their own obituary can be a nice way to sum up their life, not to mention avoid any possible mistakes that sometimes occur when obituaries are hurriedly written at the time of death.

A Guide To 'Death-Aware' Gifts For The Holidays

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 12.22.2016 | Healthy Living
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

Here are some "death-aware" gifts that you might consider for various individuals grappling with death and loss this holiday season: