SOCIAL SCIENCES

When My Time Comes: Conversations About Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right To Determine When Life Should End

Knopf. Feb. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780525654759. $25.95. SOC SCI
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Published as a companion work to a film documentary, this collection of enlightening interviews by former NPR host Rehm (The Diane Rehm Show) provides insight into end-of-life care in the United States. Like Rehm herself, who movingly recounts her husband’s experiences at the end of his life, interview subjects share personal values and beliefs on the subject of dying well. These open conversations with patients and their relatives, along with advocates, doctors, caregivers, and spiritual counselors include profound arguments both for and against medical assistance in dying. Rehm also touches on specific information regarding state-based eligibility rules. Readers are introduced to organizations and support groups that can assist with discussion, preparation, decision making, and navigating legal paperwork. The work concludes with an interview with Rehm’s grandson, which provides a model for establishing end-of-life instructions for when the time comes. For research purposes, an index would have been a useful addition.
VERDICT Rehm definitively accomplishes her goal of spurring conversation about end-of-life care with these balanced, thoughtful discussions of a difficult but vital topic.

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