Dying with Ease: A Compassionate Guide for Making Wiser End-of-Life Decisions

Jeff Spiess. Rowman & Littlefield, $30 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5381-4189-2
Spiess, a hospice physician, debuts with a soothing and thorough guide to the complexities of the end of life. Spiess notes that dying is “foreign territory” for most Americans, and, in an effort make the process more perceptible and less overwhelming, he asks readers to imagine the end of their own lives, stage by deteriorating stage, and discusses statistics, stories of patients, legal and ethical considerations, and references to literature about death. He covers essential topics, such as advance directives (fill them out), hospice (it’s helpful), suffering (much of it is psychological), and how finding meaning can relieve suffering. For instance, he considers the ethics around assisted death activist Brittany Maynard’s decision to take her own life: “Years of medical practice,” Spiess writes, “have taught me that the only person who can define their ‘own terms’ for valuing life is the person who is living that life.” The eclectic bibliography—including professional literature, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as literary and humanistic works—adds to this guide’s usefulness. Readers dealing with end-of-life care (for themselves or loved ones) will find wisdom in Spiess’s wide-ranging work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/17/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 204 pages - 978-1-5381-4190-8
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