A People’s Guide to the End of Life

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What to expect

This book is about death: how we approach it, how families, and those breathing their last, might deal with it. While the author has been surrounded by death for decades—in the operating rooms, the intensive care unit, the burn unit, in the US, Latin America, and Africa—putting these words to “paper” was the result of the impending death of a friend and colleague, a professor of political science and a fighter for social and economic justice.

The book’s rationale is to assist the family of the dying human—and perhaps the dying person themselves—as they attempt to navigate our byzantine, inefficient, and, too often, inhumane health system. Included is a distillation of experience in clinical care, research, and education over forty years of medical practice in intensive care units of large academic health centers as well as in areas of our world with resource limitations. From what to expect from your physicians and nurses, to navigating difficult family dynamics, and with real world example cases—cases that went right and those that went wrong—this book may assist you at in some of the worst times of your life.

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