While modern Americans strive to control nearly every aspect of their lives, many of us abandon control of life's final passage. But the realities of twenty-first-century medicine will allow most of us to have a say in how, when, and where we die, so we need to make decisions surrounding death, too. Or those decisions may be made for us. Threading compelling real-life stories and practical guidance throughout, this book helps readers navigate end-of-life care for themselves and their loved ones.
In this practical guidebook, Dr. Dan Morhaim and Shelley Morhaim offer readers hope, empowerment, and inspiration. What we choose for our end-of-life care, they assert, depends on accurate information and on our personal values. We need these not only to understand new medical advances but also to appreciate the wisdom of humanity's past and present.
Dan Morhaim, an emergency medicine physician and former Maryland state legislator, guides readers through the medical, legal, and financial maze of end-of-life care. He details the care choices available to patients and explains why living wills and advance directives are a necessity for every American. He tells readers where to find free and readily available living wills and advance directives and why it is so important for everyone--young and old--to complete them. Meanwhile, Shelley Morhaim draws on her experience as a therapeutic music practitioner for hospice and hospital patients to offer compassion to readers facing hard decisions.
The authors reflect on a number of timely topics, including
- what doctors--including Dr. Morhaim specifically--want for themselves in terms of end-of-life care
- how legislative initiatives on assisted dying vary by state
- how to obtain medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST/POLST)
- how to deal with dementia
- what to expect from palliative and hospice care
- how to cope with pain at the end of life, including with medical cannabis and narcotics
- how organ donation and body disposition work
- how to communicate individual needs to lawyers, physicians, and family members
- how to make decisions when selecting the best care for yourself and others
Organized as a roadmap that people should follow when they plan end-of-life care and contingencies, this book helps readers keep decisions in their own hands and spare their families the uncertainty and trauma of guessing about their end-of-life wishes. Breaking down the barriers to a difficult but essential topic, Preparing for a Better End helps readers open this often-avoided discussion with their loved ones while providing the information and guidance needed to ensure that deeply held values are reflected and honored.
Praise for the Author
"In The Better End, Dr. Morhaim helps the reader to see that while death does have its sting, it need not be bitter, and each of us can prepare for the end in better ways."--Maya Angelou
"Dan Morhaim's message is a must read for anyone who is facing end-of-life crisis issues and concerns, whether it be for themselves or for a family member or loved one. When so many others shun away from the topic, Dan Morhaim addresses the situation with clarity, insight, and sensitivity."--Montel Williams
About the Author
Dan Morhaim, MD is an emergency medicine physician with more than 40 years of front-line clinical experience. He served for 24 years as a Maryland state legislator. Shelley Morhaim, the screenwriter and director of the documentary film The Next Industrial Revolution, is a therapeutic music practitioner for hospice and hospital patients.