Preparing your end-of-life plan

Joe Takach kisses Lillian Landry in this Oct. 30, 2009 file photo, as Landry spends her last days in the hospice wing of an Oakland Park, Fla., hospital. She made her end-of-life decisions, listing how she wanted to spend her last time and how she wanted to be buried.

Most of us can imagine the details of an unplanned and unpleasant death: Car accidents, sudden stroke-heart attack. But how much thought have you given to the death that can be planned? An illness that you won't recover from? An injury that may ultimately claim your life?

"The Better End" by Dan Morhaim
"The Better End" by Dan Morhaim
Book cover courtesty of publisher

Dr. Dan Morhaim is an internal medicine physician and adjunct professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins. He joins The Daily Circuit Monday to discuss his book "The Better End: Surviving & Dying On Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World."

"Confronting our own mortality makes us uneasy," Morhaim said. "But it's our job as professional to overcome that."

Morhaim stresses the importance of discussing end-of-life plans ahead of time to ensure you get the treatment during your last moments alive.

"Just about every health provider I know who works in emergency or critical care medicine has completed an advance directive," Morhaim writes. "Why? Because we've seen what happens when people don't. We've seen the people get something called 'care,' when it's really closer to torture."

We'll talk about what you need to know about planning for your death-and what our political leaders could do to make that planning easier and more effective.


People are hungry for information on this topic. For all the squeamishness associated with death, people want to talk about it.