If you are mortal or know someone who is, please read this hopeful primer on death and dying, pain and suffering, helplessness and responsibility, dignity, love, and life.
Through powerful and moving stories of his patients and friends, Dr. Ira Byock demonstrates how American attitudes toward death and current medical practices combine to isolate, humiliate, and inflict unnecessary pain and suffering upon the frail and the dying. Byock starts by diagnosing what ails the medical profession: a lack of training in end-of-life care, a focus on the pathology rather than the patient, and the proliferation of medical subspecialties, which, when patients are moved from one doctor to the next, fragments care. These practices push patients who would prefer to die in comfort and dignity at home into ICUs where they suffer the pain of unwanted and expensive medical procedures and are cut off from ...
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