End of Life Resources


Final Journeys - Personal Interviews

Final Journeys and the Importance of Advance Care Planning

Final Journeys: A Conversation with Brandon Hidaka

Final Journeys: A Conversation with Sam Meers

Final Journeys: A Conversation with Rita and John Carney

Final Journeys: A Conversation with Terrie & Richard Payne

Final Journeys: A Conversation with Myra Christopher



Audio Interviews

End of Life Planning Resources

Why People Still Suffer at the End of Life MP3

As part of the Center's 25th Anniversary Lectures Series, Myra Christopher, President & CEO, examines why, in spite of progress made through the years, people still die alone in pain without the care we know how to give, and how we can change that. 


The Surrogacy Saga MP3

John Carney, president & CEO of the Center, discusses where to draw the line between physician guidance and respecting surrogate and patient wishes. Do surrogate decision makers need more help from doctors on end of life care? A couple of medical journals address this issue. (December 17, 2010)  


PBS Frontline: Facing Death MP3

How far would you go to sustain your life or the life of someone you love? When the moment comes, and you’re confronted with the prospect of "pulling the plug," do you know how you’ll respond? Those questions and many others are addressed in a PBS Frontline program on November 23, 2010 entitled Facing Death.


Transforming Care for People with Advanced Illness MP3

Living with advanced illness in America is painful, isolating and costly. Most people spend their last days alone in hospitals and nursing homes, often in pain, despite the availability of effective pain management. The current system fails the public, health providers and society. That is why “The Transformation Project: A New Initiative to Improve Advanced Illness Care” is creating a national consortium of leading organizations and individuals to work collaboratively on this issue.


To Feed or Not to Feed? MP3

David Casarett, MD, Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses progress regarding questions about when and when not to use artificial nutrition and hydration. 


Should a family decide what Mom didn\'t say? MP3

It's a balancing act between improving end-of-life-care and protecting patients interests. Debra Schuster, JD, an elder law attorney in St. Louis, discusses whether surrogate decision-making is the answer.


What Now Dr. Gawande? MP3

Myra Christopher, President & CEO, and John Carney, Vice President for Aging and End of Life at the Center, respond to Dr. Atul Gawande's August 2, 2010 New Yorker article: "Letting Go: What Should Medicine Do When It Can't Save Your Life?"


Hospice Care in Prison MP3

Carol McAdoo, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, discusses end of life in prison and why hospice is needed there. (August 6, 2010)


Mental Health & the End of Life MP3

Brian Carpenter, Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses what mental health needs are present at the end of life.


Chronic Disease and Aging MP3

The overwhelming majority of Americans will die of complications from a chronic disease. At the same time, that overwhelming majority will pay little attention to what that means. John Carney, vice president for aging and end of life at the Center for Practical Bioethics, discusses chronic disease and aging and the scope of issues involved, including changing expectations regarding end of life and need to better understand what works and what doesn't.


End of Life Legislation in Missouri and Kansas MP3

Befuddled with the laws in Missouri and Kansas regarding end-of-life decisions for you and your family? Officials in both states are working to ensure practical preparations are being streamlined to address vital provisions including, living wills, durable powers of attorney and care outside of hospital concerns. Listen as John Carney, vice president for aging and end of life at the Center for Practical Bioethics, discusses these critical points that will impact families across the bi-state region. (February 26, 2009)


End of Life: Reflections on a Good Death

Bioethics Forum Vol. 13 (1) Spring 1997

What Makes a Good Death? (PDF)

Shana Alexander and Nancy Pickard


My Ideal Death (PDF)

Nancy Pickard


A Good Death: Improving Care Inch by Inch (PDF)

Elise Ayers, MPH, Joan Harrold, MD and Joanne Lynn, MD


STILL/HERE Above Ground (PDF)

William Bartholome, MD


What Makes a Good Death? (PDF)

Daniel Callahan


Case Study: John (PDF)

Rosemary Flanigan, PhD


The Spice Box (PDF)

Myra Christopher


Reflections on a Good Death: An Interview with Carl E. Flemister (PDF)

Carl E. Flemister


A Good Death (PDF)

Alice Kitchen


A Good Death - Oxymoron (PDF)

Richard A. McCormick


Struggle (PDF)

Patrick Miller


An African American Looks at Death (PDF)

Marian Gray Secundy


End of Life: Treatment Redirection

Authors explore the ethical considerations in terminating aggressive curative treatment and moving toward aggressive palliative care. 


Bioethics Forum Vol. 14 (2) Summer 1998


Treatment Redirection: Moving from Curative to Palliative Care (PDF)


The Houston Process-Based Approach to Medical Futility (PDF)


Community Guidelines for End-of-Life Care: Incremental Change or Significant Reform (PDF)


A Meditation: May I Be a Cancerous Survivor? (PDF)


Considerations Regarding Withholding / Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment (PDF)


Case Study: Barney Says No (PDF)


Practical Bioethics, Vol 2, No. 2 and 3, Summer 2006


The Ethics of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: A Practical Guide (PDF)


Pathways to Convergence Report

The Center for Practical Bioethics with the support of Pew Charitable Trusts engaged a small group of Catholic leaders from clinical, clerical, ethical, and theological perspectives in an extended discussion to explore areas of convergence and divergence around palliative care and advance care planning in American society. This steering group independently designed and directed the effort. That initial group also identified an additional two dozen Catholic leaders from diverse professional perspectives, educational backgrounds, and geographic regions to join in the discussion.

Catholic Perspective on Palliative Care (Booklet)

Catholic Perspective on Palliative Care (Manuscript)

Catholic Perspective on Palliative Care (Single Page Layout)

Catholic Perspective on Palliative Care (Spread Layout)

Center for Practical Bioethics

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