Author: Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D.
Release Date: 2017-02-21
For readers of Being Mortal and Modern Death, an ICU and Palliative Care specialist offers a framework for a better way to exit life that will change our medical culture at the deepest level In medical school, no one teaches you how to let a patient die. Jessica Zitter became a doctor because she wanted to be a hero. She elected to specialize in critical care—to become an ICU physician—and imagined herself swooping in to rescue patients from the brink of death. But then during her first code she found herself cracking the ribs of a patient so old and frail it was unimaginable he would ever come back to life. She began to question her choice. Extreme Measures charts Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another—a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology. In our current medical culture, the old and the ill are put on what she terms the End-of-Life Conveyor belt. They are intubated, catheterized, and even shelved away in care facilities to suffer their final days alone, confused, and often in pain. In her work Zitter has learned what patients fear more than death itself: the prospect of dying badly. She builds bridges between patients and caregivers, formulates plans to allay patients’ pain and anxiety, and enlists the support of loved ones so that life can end well, even beautifully. Filled with rich patient stories that make a compelling medical narrative, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.
In medical school, no one teaches you how to let a patient die. Currently, the old and the ill are intubated, catheterised, and even shelved away in care facilities to live out their final days alone, confused, and sometimes in pain. In her work, Zitter has learned to understand that what patients fear more than death itself is the prospect of dying alone. Filled with the kinds of rich patient stories that make the most compelling medical narratives, Extreme Measures thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.
Author: Haider Warraich
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
Release Date: 2018-01-27
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.
Author: Steven Pantilat
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2017-02-14
Genre: Family & Relationships
In Life After the Diagnosis, Dr. Steven Z. Pantilat, a renowned international expert in palliative care, shares innovative approaches for dealing with serious illness, outlines the steps that patients should take, and demystifies the medical system. He makes sense of what doctors say, what they actually mean, and how to get the best information to help make the best medical decisions. Dr. Pantilat covers everything from the first steps after the diagnosis and finding the right caregiving and support, to planning your future so your loved ones don't have to. He offers advice on how to tackle the most difficult treatment decisions and discussions and shows readers how to choose treatments that help more than they hurt, stay consistent with their values and personal goals, and live as well as possible for as long as possible.
Author: John Abraham
Publisher: Upper Access Books
Release Date: 2017-04-01
This is a comprehensive manual for anybody reaching the end of life, and for their caring friends, relatives, advocates, and caretakers. The author, an Episcopal priest, describes in detail the formidable challenges faced by those who wish to avoid months or years of painful treatment after they no longer have any hope of recovering any reasonable quality of life. Specific subjects include: the nature of physical death; legal documents to clarify one's wishes; the need for a strong advocate to have the patient's wishes honoed moral questions that must be considered; means of dying painlessly once the decision is made; and much more, including how to respond to reluctant doctors, and the value of humor in communicating with a dying patient. Abraham emphasizes that despite is position as a priest, this is not a religious book. It is intended for people of all faiths or no faith. People develop their own views on end-of-life issues, and for those who have not yet given it much thought, he offers facts and insights that are useful in forming one's moral beliefs. The decision, of course, must always be made by the patient, usually well ahead of time while he or she is able to make a sound judgment. If the patient desires continued medical treatment despite suffering and no means of recovery, that person's wishes must be honored. However, he argues strongly that those who hope to avoid the terrible suffering that comes so often at the end of life should also have their wishes honored. The book carries strong endorsements from a number of well-known authorities on death, dying, grief, and mourning, including Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, the author of numerous best-selling books on death and grieving, and Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society and author of Final Exit.
Author: Dan Morhaim
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2011-12-05
Genre: Health & Fitness
With this book, he breaks down the barriers to a difficult but essential topic, helping readers to open this often avoided discussion with their loved ones and providing the information and guidance needed to ensure that deeply held values are reflected and honored.
Author: Samuel Harrington
Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style
Release Date: 2018-02-06
The authoritative, informative, and reassuring guide on end-of-life care for our aging population. Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health-care system, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions. Many undergo painful procedures instead of having the better and more peaceful death they deserve. AT PEACE outlines specific active and passive steps that older patients and their health-care proxies can take to ensure loved ones live their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice when further aggressive care is inappropriate. Through Dr. Samuel Harrington's own experience with the aging and deaths of his parents and of working with patients, he describes the terminal patterns of the six most common chronic diseases; how to recognize a terminal diagnosis even when the doctor is not clear about it; how to have the hard conversation about end-of-life wishes; how to minimize painful treatments; when to seek hospice care; and how to deal with dementia and other special issues. Informed by more than thirty years of clinical practice, Dr. Harrington came to understand that the American health-care system wasn't designed to treat the aging population with care and compassion. His work as a hospice trustee and later as a hospital trustee drove his passion for helping patients make appropriate end-of-life decisions.
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: Daniela Lamas
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2018-03-27
A critical care doctor's breathtaking stories about what it means to be saved by modern medicine Modern medicine is a world that glimmers with new technology and cutting-edge research. To the public eye, medical stories often begin with sirens and flashing lights and culminate in survival or death. But these are only the most visible narratives. As a critical care doctor treating people at their sickest, Daniela Lamas is fascinated by a different story: what comes after for those whose lives are extended by days, months, or years as a result of our treatments and technologies? In You Can Stop Humming Now, Lamas explores the complex answers to this question through intimate accounts of patients and their families. A grandfather whose failing heart has been replaced by a battery-operated pump; a salesman who found himself a kidney donor on social media; a college student who survived a near fatal overdose and returned home, alive but not the same; and a young woman navigating an adulthood she never thought she'd live to see -- these moving narratives paint a detailed picture of the fragile border between sickness and health. Riveting, gorgeously told, and deeply personal, You Can Stop Humming Now is a compassionate, uncompromising look at the choices and realities that many of us, and our families, may one day face.
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.
Author: Ann Neumann
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2017-02-07
"Following the death of her father, journalist and hospice volunteer Ann Neumann sets out to examine what it means to die well in the United States. If a good death exists, what does it look like? This question lies at the heart of Neumann's rigorously researched and intimately told journey along the ultimate borderland of American life: American death. From church basements to hospital wards to prison cells, Neumann charts the social, political, religious, and medical landscape to explore how we die today. The Good Death weaves personal accounts with a historical exploration of the movements and developments that have changed the ways we experience death. With the diligence of a journalist and the compassion of a caregiver, Neumann provides a portrait of death in the United States that is humane, beautifully written, and essential to our greater understanding of the future of end-of-life care"--
Few people choose to contemplate critical illness or the inevitability of death until their time comes. Because possibilities are rarely discussed, many people are unprepared or unable to make critical end-of-life decisions and spend their last days in over-medicalized and unnecessarily painful and protracted situations. Breaking frankly through the taboo of discussing death, Hattie Bryant shows that we have a choice. Inspired by the peaceful death her mother was almost denied, Bryant began gathering information from national experts in palliative care, geriatrics, oncology, bio-ethics, psychology, and spirituality. I ll Have It My Way credibly and passionately presents the case for personal responsibility in the healthcare, legal, and procedural decisions that all of us must make if they are not to be made for us. By making our wishes known and communicating them effectively, we remove the burden from our loved ones of making the deeply personal choices that will enable us to live our lives more fully to the end. I ll Have It My Way provides useful information from experts throughout healthcare, real-life examples that illustrate the consequences of decisions made or not made, and a thought-provoking guide that takes the reader on a journey of discovery to learn what a life well lived means to them. Spoiler alert: we will all die. But if we follow Hattie Bryant s sound advice, our story can have the ending that we believe is best."