Preparing for a Better End: Expert Lessons on Death and Dying for You and Your Loved Ones

Johns Hopkins. Nov. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781421439167. $25. MED
Too few of us have given careful thought to personal decisions surrounding death and dying and taken practical steps to document our choices. While acknowledging the difficulty in facing the topic, MD Dan Morhaim and his wife Shelley, a screenwriter and director, emphasize its importance and also offer guidance. Dan brings his experience as an ER physician, and also as a Maryland state legislator for more than two decades. Anecdotes illustrate the options that some patients have chosen, followed by discussions of the kinds of issues that can arise, and that can be difficult for surviving family and friends and medical personnel without clear directions in the form of advance directives. Dealing with end-of-life choices before there is a need to do so allows for a thoughtful consideration of options. Issues discussed include pain control, resuscitation, palliative and hospice care, organ and whole-body donation, cremation and/or burial options, and preferences for funerals or memorials. There are suggestions for online resources and further reading, plus a sample advance directive form.
VERDICT Clear and with a practical orientation. Useful for people dealing with end of life situations and especially for those actually planning ahead.
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