At the End of Life
Author: Lee Gutkind
Publisher: Underland Press
What should medicine do when it can’t save your life? The modern healthcare system has become proficient at staving off death with aggressive interventions. And yet, eventually everyone dies—and although most Americans say they would prefer to die peacefully at home, more than half of all deaths take place in hospitals or health care facilities. At the End of Life—the latest collaborative book project between the Creative Nonfiction Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation—tackles this conundrum head on. Featuring twenty-two compelling personal-medical narratives, the collection explores death, dying and palliative care, and highlights current features, flaws and advances in the healthcare system. Here, a poet and former hospice worker reflects on death’s mysteries; a son wanders the halls of his mother’s nursing home, lost in the small absurdities of the place; a grief counselor struggles with losing his own grandfather; a medical intern traces the origins and meaning of time; a mother anguishes over her decision to turn off her daughter’s life support and allow her organs to be harvested; and a nurse remembers many of her former patients. These original, compelling personal narratives reveal the inner workings of hospitals, homes and hospices where patients, their doctors and their loved ones all battle to hang on—and to let go.
How We Die
Author: Sherwin B Nuland
Presents a meditation and portrait of the experience of dying that elucidates the decisions that can be made to allow each person an understanding of death, as well as his or her own choice of death. Reprint. 150,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo.
After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself working in palliative care.Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie's life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for. The article, also called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. At the requests of many, Bronnie now shares her own personal story.Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse past, but by applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for people, if they make the right choices, to die with peace of mind. In this book, she expresses in a heartfelt retelling how significant these regrets are and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time.The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a story told through sharing her inspiring and honest journey, which will leave you feeling kinder towards yourself and others, and more determined to live the life you are truly here to live. This delightful memoir is a courageous, life-changing book.
Glimpses of Heaven
Author: Trudy Harris RN
Drawn from her decades of experience as a hospice nurse, Trudy Harris shares stories that offer an incredible glimpse at what lies beyond this world--ethereal music, colors that did not exist on earth, angels, and loved ones who have gone on before. She has been with hundreds of patients as they took their last breaths and knows the kinds of questions that both the dying and their loved ones ask: What happens when we die? What should I say to a loved one who is dying? How can I make a dying friend feel safe? The stories she shares will bring the reader comfort and peace even amidst pain. Tender, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, this expanded edition of the New York Times bestseller offers more incredible windows into the world beyond and life after death.
Author: Maggie Callanan, Patricia Kelley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In this moving and compassionate classic—now updated with new material from the authors—hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years’ experience tending the terminally ill. Through their stories we come to appreciate the near-miraculous ways in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings, and even choreograph their own final moments; we also discover the gifts—of wisdom, faith, and love—that the dying leave for the living to share. Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death, Final Gifts shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.
The Way We Die Now
Author: Seamus O'Mahony
We have lost the ability to deal with death. Most of our friends and beloved relations will die in a busy hospital in the care of strangers, doctors, and nurses they have known at best for a couple of weeks. They may not even know they are dying, victims of the kindly lie that there is still hope. They are unlikely to see even their family doctor in their final hours, robbed of their dignity and fed through a tube after a long series of excessive and hopeless medical interventions. This is the starting point of Seamus O’Mahony’s The Way We Die Now, a thoughtful, moving and unforgettable book on the western way of death. Dying has never been more public, with celebrities writing detailed memoirs of their illness, but in private we have done our best to banish all thought of dying and made a good death increasingly difficult to achieve.
With the End in Mind
Author: Kathryn Mannix
Publisher: Little, Brown
For readers of Atul Gawande and Paul Kalanithi, a palliative care doctor's breathtaking stories from 30 years spent caring for the dying. Modern medical technology is allowing us to live longer and fuller lives than ever before. And for the most part, that is good news. But with changes in the way we understand medicine come changes in the way we understand death. Once a familiar and gentle process, death has come to be something from which we shy away, preferring to fight it desperately than to accept its inevitability. Palliative care has a long tradition in Britain, where Dr. Kathryn Mannix has practiced it for 30 years. In this book, she shares beautifully crafted stories from a lifetime of caring for the dying. With insightful meditations on life, death, and the space between them, With the End in Mind describes the possibility of meeting death gently, with forethought and preparation, and shows the unexpected beauty, dignity, and profound humanity of life coming to an end.
Author: Haider Warraich
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
Nothing is more certain in life than death. Yet recent advances in medicine and technology have dramatically increased our life expectancy, and everything about when, where, how and why we die has changed. The result is that dying is today a more prolonged and harrowing experience than ever before. In Modern Death, the physician and clinical researcher Haider Warraich draws on his expert personal experience as well as on history, culture, theology and legal theory, to tackle important ethical questions that go right to the heart of what it is to be human. He reveals what dying really means in today’s medical industrial complex, discusses the ethics of patient proxies, living wills and the right to die, and argues in favour of giving terminally ill patients the right to physician-assisted death. Written by an insightful, new voice in the conversation about death and dying, Modern Death is a heartfelt and inspiring book offering an unabashedly honest perspective, exploring how we can and must do better by the ones we love.
No Good Deed
Author: Lewis Mitchell Cohen, M.D.
Publisher: Harper Collins
Accomplished physician and researcher Dr. Lewis Cohen writes the untold story of two Massachusetts nurses, their struggles with end of life care, and how they were accused of murdering a patient. Captivating and powerful, No Good Deed explores what happens when decisions about end of life issues and the purpose of modern medicine move from the hospital to the courtroom to the church.
David Kessler, one of the most renowned experts on death and grief, takes on three uniquely shared experiences that challenge our ability to explain and fully understand the mystery of our final days. The first is "visions." As the dying lose sight of this world, some people appear to be looking into the world to come. The second shared experience is getting ready for a "trip." These trips may seem to us to be all about leaving, but for the dying, they may be about arriving. Finally, the third phenomenon is "crowded rooms." The dying often talk about seeing a room full of people, as they constantly repeat the word crowded. In truth, we never die alone. Just as loving hands greeted us when we were born, so will loving arms embrace us when we die. In the tapestry of life and death, we may begin to see connections to the past that we missed in life. While death may look like a loss to the living, the last hours of a dying person may be filled not with emptiness, but rather with fullness. In this fascinating book, David brings us stunning stories from the bedsides of the dying that will educate, enlighten, and comfort us all.
Changing the Way We Die
Author: Fran Smith
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
There’s a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care—nearly 44 percent of all deaths—and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand. Once viewed as a New Age indulgence, hospice is now a $14 billion business and one of the most successful segments in health care. Changing the Way We Die, by award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, is the first book to take a broad, penetrating look at the hospice landscape, through gripping stories of real patients, families, and doctors, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own the market. Changing the Way We Die is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face life’s most challenging and universal event. You will learn: — Hospice use is soaring, yet most people come too late to get the full benefits. — With the age tsunami, it becomes even more critical for families and patients to choose end-of-life care wisely. — Hospice at its best is much more than a way to relieve the suffering of dying. It is a way to live.
Author: Atul Gawande
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
Explore the Resistance to Death, and Awaken More Fully to Life Death is simply one more aspect of being a human being, but in our culture, we’ve made it a taboo. As a result, most of us walk through life with conscious or unconscious fears that prevent us from experiencing true contentment. Embracing the End of Life invites you to lean into your beliefs and questions about death and dying, helping you release tense or fearful energy and awaken to a more vital life now. Preparing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for this inevitable transition provides improved clarity and strength. This book shares the idea of death as a journey of three steps—resistance, letting go, and transcendence. With dozens of exercises, practices, and meditations, author Patt Lind-Kyle helps you experience your truest, most expansive self. Exploring multiple aspects of life and death—with everything from chakras and the Enneagram to living wills and health care directives—this book is meant to help you unwind the challenge of death and discover the truth of your own path to inner freedom. Praise: “The fear of dying keeps countless people from living fully—as well as keeping countless others trapped in endless suffering. Embracing the End of Life will help all of us prepare joyously for the inevitable.”—Christiane Northrup, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Goddesses Never Age
Author: Maggie Callanan
For more than two decades, hospice nurse Maggie Callanan has tended to the terminally ill and been a cornerstone of support for their loved ones. Now the coauthor of the classic bestseller Final Gifts passes along the lessons she has learned from the experts—her patients. Here is the guide we all need to understanding the special needs of the dying and those who care for them. In her work with thousands of families, Maggie Callanan has witnessed the tears, the love—and the confusion and conflict—this final passage can evoke. Now, with honesty, compassion, and even humor, she empowers patients and their families to write the last chapter of their lives with less fear, less pain, and more control—so that all involved can focus their energies on creating the best possible ending. From supporting a husband or wife faced with the loss of a spouse, to helping a dying mother prepare her children to carry on without her, Callanan’s poignant stories illustrate new ways to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of this difficult and precious time. She brings welcome clarity to medical and ethical concerns, explaining what to expect at every stage. Each brief chapter also conveys a home truth about making crucial treatment decisions, supporting the patient’s dignity and individuality, and lightening the burden on caregivers. Final Journeys is designed to be your companion, resource, and advocate. From diagnosis through the final hours, it will help you keep the lines of communication open, get the help you need, and create the peaceful end we all hope for. From the Hardcover edition.
How to Die
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Timeless wisdom on death and dying from the celebrated Stoic philosopher Seneca "It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die," wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC–65 AD). He counseled readers to "study death always," and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings, yet he never treated it in a complete work. How to Die gathers in one volume, for the first time, Seneca's remarkable meditations on death and dying. Edited and translated by James S. Romm, How to Die reveals a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who speaks with a startling frankness about the need to accept death or even, under certain conditions, to seek it out. Seneca believed that life is only a journey toward death and that one must rehearse for death throughout life. Here, he tells us how to practice for death, how to die well, and how to understand the role of a good death in a good life. He stresses the universality of death, its importance as life's final rite of passage, and its ability to liberate us from pain, slavery, or political oppression. Featuring beautifully rendered new translations, How to Die also includes an enlightening introduction, notes, the original Latin texts, and an epilogue presenting Tacitus's description of Seneca's grim suicide.