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Preparing for a Better End

Expert Lessons on Death and Dying for You and Your Loved Ones

Dan Morhaim, MD
with Shelley Morhaim

Publication Date
Binding Type

A vital roadmap to planning your own end-of-life care.

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...

A vital roadmap to planning your own end-of-life care.

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

and more.

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

Reviews

Reviews

Dan Morhaim's knowledge as an ER doctor and his empathy for the dying—and the living—comes through in every chapter. He provides the questions we all should be asking and answering about death and dying.

Compelling truths that enable families to choose dignity over depravity, love over loneliness, and fairness over bias. A must-read to prepare for a better end.

Dan Morhaim provides key insights into ways to navigate the difficult end-of-life journey traveled by individuals and families across the country. This valuable guide offers thoughtful policy analysis while also highlighting essential considerations for you and your loved ones so that you can make decisions consistent with your values and wishes.

Dan Morhaim's Preparing for a Better End is an important read. He brings experience and sensitivity to a challenging topic, one that we too often avoid, and he does so in a way that is accessible, practical, and sympathetic. This is a book for everyone who wants the best of medical care for themselves and their loved ones.

I applaud the Morhaims' commitment to humanity as they encourage us to embrace the reality of our mortality. This book demonstrates that we have power to control our destiny, including the transition to death. We are best served by doing so, for ourselves and for those we inevitably leave behind.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421439167
Illustration Description
2 halftones, 3 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction. Why Not the Best of Both Worlds?
Chapter 1. My Dog Got Better Care Than My Mother
Chapter 2. Taking Charge: Advance Directives and Choosing the Care You Want
Chapter 3. A

Acknowledgments
Introduction. Why Not the Best of Both Worlds?
Chapter 1. My Dog Got Better Care Than My Mother
Chapter 2. Taking Charge: Advance Directives and Choosing the Care You Want
Chapter 3. A Different Choice: Do Everything
Chapter 4. Cure vs. Healing: Palliative Care and Hospice
Chapter 5. Whom Do You Trust? Choosing Your Health Care Agent
Chapter 6. It's Not Just about Old People: When Tragedy Strikes the Young
Chapter 7. No Easy Answers: Dementia, the System, and Getting It Right
Chapter 8. Assisted Suicide, Assisted Dying, and VSED
Chapter 9. Pain, Anxiety, and Drugs, Drugs, Drugs
Chapter 10. What's Stopping Us
Chapter 11. Gifts of Life: Organ Donation, Funerals, and Cemeteries
Chapter 12. No Job Is Complete Until the Paperwork Is Done: Making It Legal
Chapter 13. Help, We Need Somebody: Providing Support
Chapter 14. The Better End: Surviving (and Dying) on Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World
Chapter 15. Speaking Personally
Glossary
Resources
Index

Author Bios
Dan Morhaim, MD
Featured Contributor

Dan Morhaim, MD

Dan Morhaim, M.D., is an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Deputy Majority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates. He is board certified in emergency medicine and internal medicine.
Featured Contributor

Shelley Morhaim

Shelley Morhaim, the screenwriter and director of the documentary film The Next Industrial Revolution, is a therapeutic music practitioner for hospice and hospital patients.
Resources

Additional Resources