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End of Life Care

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

Dr. Candi K. Cann | Posted 10.08.2014 | 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.

Is 75 the Perfect Age to Die?

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 10.07.2014 | 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.

Americans Don't Plan on Dying

Paul Spector, M.D. | Posted 10.03.2014 | 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.

Palliative Care or Hospice? It's Not About Giving Up

Jeanne Dennis | Posted 09.30.2014 | Healthy Living
Jeanne Dennis

Mrs. G., a woman in her 50s, had been receiving disease-directed care for her breast cancer, but her condition reached a point where the treatment was...

Protecting Herself From Hero Doctors

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 09.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

"You want to get a Do Not Resuscitate tattoo on your chest?" I asked, as one might say to a friend whose goal was to lose 50 pounds. You'd support it, but you knew it would never happen. "No, I have one," she said quietly, pulling her shirt aside modestly to show the skin over her heart muscle. I stared at it unbelieving.

Who Would You Want to Go to Mars With?

Jan Millsapps, Ph.D. | Posted 09.18.2014 | Science
Jan Millsapps, Ph.D.

I'm not sure even Mother Teresa or Gandhi could crack the top-tier of this list. I'm thinking Mars One is looking for far more than qualified and intrepid space explorers; they're looking for super heroes -- or at least the super heroic.

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...

What Joan Rivers Taught Us About Dying

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 09.07.2014 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

While we can only read between the lines of the sad news when Joan was rushed to the hospital after an outpatient procedure and then was in and out of intensive care, it appears she and her daughter at some earlier time had "that conversation."

Melissa Rivers' Courageous Decision

David Kessler | Posted 09.12.2014 | Impact
David Kessler

I've helped thousands of people with end-of-life decisions and I can tell you that the process is beyond stressful. It's extremely confusing and it's racked with guilt. As we mourn the death of Joan Rivers, here is what we can learn from her daughter's brave decision.

A Will for the Woods: A Documentary About Honoring Death and the Earth

Nell Minow | Posted 08.29.2014 | Green
Nell Minow

He made the time he had left profoundly meaningful in the way he chose to say goodbye by using his death and plans for an eco-burial to save a wooded area scheduled to be cut down for a cemetery.

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.

Jocelyn Streid: The Secularization of Christian Narratives in American Cancer Care

Duke University | Posted 08.09.2014 | College
Duke University

I wanted to know why the vast majority of Americans die in a hospital or nursing facility instead of at home, why so many patients near death opt for aggressive treatment rather than palliative care.

Seven Leaders to Inspire You to Act

Adria D. Goodson | Posted 07.22.2014 | Impact
Adria D. Goodson

Today we announce the seven women and men chosen as our 2014 Prime Movers fellows who will inspire you next or may have already done so.

Young Adult Cancer and the Law

Kevin Lankes | Posted 06.02.2014 | Healthy Living
Kevin Lankes

I didn't have a will going into my cancer diagnosis, or a power of attorney. I ended up writing a letter that I would have tried to pass off as a will had things gone awry. But simply having something in writing isn't enough.

Death With Dignity: Now Is the Time for Advanced Care Discussions

Eric Kodish, M.D. | Posted 05.25.2014 | Healthy Living
Eric Kodish, M.D.

End-of-life care, and the subsequent decisions that are related to it, is a sensitive subject that must be handled with compassion and respect from all involved -- from family members to medical personnel.

Catholic Hospital Systems: A Growing Threat To Access T0 Reproductive Services

John Geyman | Posted 05.11.2014 | Religion
John Geyman

Expansion of Catholic hospital systems is accelerating around the country, partly by acquiring non-Catholic hospitals. This trend is posing an increasing threat to access to care in two major areas -- reproductive services and end-of-life care.

Giving Yourself a Basic Education About Funeral Planning Now

Judith Johnson | Posted 04.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Judith Johnson

If you had to plan a funeral for a loved one tomorrow, would you know what to do and what not to do? Most of us are woefully unprepared when face...

Have You Heard You're Not Alone in Your Grief? It Isn't Really True

Megan Devine | Posted 04.05.2014 | Healthy Living
Megan Devine

You alone carry the knowledge of how your grief lives in you. You alone know all the filaments of life and of love that fly through you. You alone know how deeply your life is now changed. You alone have to face this, inside your own heart.

Texas Fetal Rights Case: Delayed Justice

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

Although this case was resolved satisfactorily -- probably not soon enough for the distraught family -- a question remains about the ethics of the Texas law.

Defining Death: Four Decades of Ambivalence

American Anthropological Association | Posted 03.19.2014 | Science
American Anthropological Association

The case of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl declared brain dead at Children's Hospital Oakland on Dec. 12, is but the most recent example of a 40-year-old national perplexity and the controversy that it is capable of unleashing.

Unexpected Results From an Unexpected Resolution

The Rev. Sue Wintz | Posted 03.19.2014 | Healthy Living
The Rev. Sue Wintz

I usually don't go for New Year's resolutions, but I'm glad we did this one. I want my voice to be heard loud and clear if there ever comes a time when my family has to make health care decisions on my behalf.

When Fetal Rights Trump Those of Patient and Family

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.16.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

The case of Marlise Munoz may ultimately be decided on legal grounds -- that is, whether the Texas statute is applicable to a dead body containing a living fetus. The ethical question, however, remains.

Are You Thinking About End-of-Life Care? You Should Be.

Hilary Young | Posted 03.16.2014 | Fifty
Hilary Young

Having written instructions helps reduce confusion for doctors and medical professionals and also can prevent arguments among family members.

Jahi McMath and the Dangerous Language of Hope

David Casarett, M.D. | Posted 03.12.2014 | Healthy Living
David Casarett, M.D.

Until health care providers become more skilled in helping patients and families to choose their hopes carefully, many of us will continue to receive the most aggressive treatment possible because there is still "hope," without the chance to reflect on what that word means to us.

What You Should Know About Your Parents' Affairs

Jim T. Miller | Posted 03.08.2014 | Fifty
Jim T. Miller

My pastor recently suggested that I get informed on my elderly parents' financial situation and end-of-life plans so I can be better prepared when something happens to them. What's the best way to handle this and what all do I need to find out?