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End of Life

A Doctor's Response to Angelina Jolie

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 04.14.2015 | 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 03.28.2015 | 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 03.26.2015 | 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 03.10.2015 | 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 03.01.2015 | 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 02.25.2015 | 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?

Is 75 the Perfect Age to Die?

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 12.07.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Moffic

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to contribute to society and are a burden rather than a benefit. I can think of few less-Jewish ideas than this. It is not only heartless but wrong.

Why Dying In America Is Harder Than It Has To Be

Kaiser Health News | Jenny Gold | Posted 09.17.2014 | Business

This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News. It is time for conversations about death to become a part of life. That is one of the th...

Being at One With Desmond Tutu

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 10.20.2014 | Impact
Fran Moreland Johns

Support for Death With Dignity from across the ocean is encouraging. And when it comes from Desmond Tutu it carries a particularly gratifying weight.

Why More Americans Need to Talk About Death

Hilary Young | Posted 09.15.2014 | Fifty
Hilary Young

Whether due to changes in the economy or the fact that people are now living longer than ever before, there's no denying that the reality of growing older in America is expensive and most people are unprepared to take on the financial burden.

The End-of-Life Conversation: Why Doctors and Patients Should Have It

Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. | Posted 07.15.2014 | Los Angeles
Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.

It's just as important for patients to control the way they die as the way they live. Physicians have a golden opportunity to do their part by helping patients and families navigate the final leg of life's journey. All they need to do is take the time to have the conversation.

Vegetative States and PET Scans: Is More Information Better?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 06.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

One typically thinks of advances in medical science and technology as having unalloyed benefits. The ability to cure illness, the mitigation of pain a...