As a society, we prepare for life’s most important events–education, careers, weddings, birthdays, and vacations–with careful planning, but serious illnesses and death are rarely talked about. According to Ira Byock (Dying Well and The Best Care Possible), “dying is inherently precarious” — but it doesn’t have to be. Drawing on years of experience as a leading palliative-care physician, he’ll describe what it means to die well, and highlight stories of transformed care that alleviates patients’ unnecessary suffering near the end. Byock (director of the Providence Institute for Human Caring) will argue why transforming the way our society cares for the seriously ill, will allow patients to maintain their dignity, comfort, and quality of life until the very end. He’ll also explain why ultimately, altering our current healthcare system, accepting the inevitability of mortality and opening the dialogue about death will lead to more fulfilling, healthier lives.
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