Recommended Readings

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have come across some very helpful stories, journal articles, and quotations (like the one above), that have resonated in the work we do with patients and families.  Some have made us cry; others have motivated us to change a perspective; and still others have provoked critical thought and analysis of a how we do death and dying in the United States.  We will share these things with you on this Recommended Readings page.  Not to tell you what to do or think, but to provide additional information, motivate, inspire, or even elicit provocative comments.  Click on any of the titles below to download the article.

We’ve read many books about death and dying, written by people well experienced in the topics.  Some of our favorites are:

  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande, M.D.
  • Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying, by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
  • Having Your Own Say: Getting the Right Care When it Matters Most, edited by Bernard J. Hammes, PhD, Gundersen Health System
  • How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter, by Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D.
  • It’s Okay to Die, by Monica Williams-Murphy, M.D. and Kristian Murphy
  • Kitchen Table Wisdom:  Stories that Heal, by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
  • The Four Things that Matter Most: A Book about Living, by Ira Byock, M.D.
  • What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life, by David Kuhl, M.D.

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