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Educating yourself on everything involved with emergency medical treatment, critical care, and end-of-life issues can be overwhleming. The following books are good sources of information on how to approach these situations.

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life

Maggie Callanan

Written by a hospice nurse who has cared for the terminally ill and offered support to their loved ones for more than two decades, this guide provides insight into the special needs of the dying and their caregivers. Through the use of stories, Callanan presents new ways to deal with the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of this trying yet precious time.

Find it on Amazon »

The End of Life Advisor: Personal, Legal, and Medical Considerations for a Peaceful, Dignified Death

The End of Life Advisor: Personal, Legal, and Medical Considerations for a Peaceful, Dignified Death

Susan Dolan and Audrey R. Vizzard

Written by a mother-daughter team of hospice volunteers with experience in nursing, law, and psychology, this simple guide offers practical step-by-step advice and compassionate, heartfelt guidance to dramatically improve the last days of life.

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Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Artificial Feeding, Comfort Measures Only and the Patient with a Life-Threatening Illness

Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Artificial Feeding, Comfort Measures Only and the Patient with a Life-Threatening Illness

Hank Dunn

Chaplain Dunn reviews the medical research on common treatments, which often offer no benefit for frail, seriously ill patients. Dunn believes that because of the little benefit offered by these treatments for some patients, decisions about their use are emotional and spiritual in their nature. The bottom-line question patients and their families struggle with is "Can I let go?"

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Not Just a Patient: How to Have a Life When You Have a Life-Threatening Disease

Not Just a Patient: How to Have a Life When You Have a Life-Threatening Disease

Ellen Fein

This handbook, for people coping with the challenges of a life-threatening illness, was born out of the author's firsthand experiences. It provides a fresh take on how to get medical care and still live life as a real person, not just a diagnosis.

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Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System

Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System

Stephen P. Kiernan

Through a mix of stories and scholarship, Stephen Kiernan describes how much reform is still needed in end-of-life care. Why has the acute-care system been so resistant to change and how can we infuse the final chapter of life with greater humanity.

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Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

Joanne Lynn, Janice Lynch Schuster, and Joan Harrold

This book provides equal measures of practical information and wise counsel. Readers will learn what decisions they will need to face, what choices are available to them, where to look for help, how the entire experience affects dying persons, their families, and their friends and more.

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The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life

Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

This guide has been invaluable to those families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia as well as provide guidance that has comforted caregivers around the world.

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The Better End: Surviving (and Dying) on Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World

The Better End: Surviving (and Dying) on Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World

Dr. Dan Morhaim

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 21st century medicine will allow most of us to have a say in how, when, and where we die, so we need to make decisions here, too. Through compelling real-life stories and practical guidance, this book helps readers navigate end-of-life care for themselves and their loved ones.

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Kitchen Table Wisdom 10th Anniversary

Kitchen Table Wisdom 10th Anniversary

Rachel Naomi Remen

Dr. Remen has a unique perspective on healing rooted in her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. In a deeply moving and down-to-earth collection of true stories, this prominent physician shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.

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A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to the Beginning of the End of Life, Minding the Body: Facilitator Guide (Treatments That Work)

A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to the Beginning of the End of Life, Minding the Body: Facilitator Guide (Treatments That Work)

Jason M. Satterfield

This skill-based program presents a new set of skills for individuals with serious and incurable illnesses to cope and increase their quality of life. Divided into four modules, the program incorporates a wide variety of CBT techniques.

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Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide

Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide

Dave Visel

Written by a journalist whose wife overcame lymphoma, Vise presents an overview of the varieties of cancer as well as patients' perspectives on all the basic types of treatments available. He also provides information and strategies to help with the emotional, practical, and financial effects of a diagnosis, as well as tools patients need to make sensible, well-informed decisions.

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It's OK to Die

It's OK to Die

Monica Williams-Murphy M.D. and Kristian Murphy

A ground-breaking book filled with stories straight out of the emergency room illustrating how most Americans are completely unprepared for death and dying. The authors have created a clear, simple guide urging everyone to prepare in advance, to assure their own peace and to prevent the suffering of their loved ones.

Find it on Amazon »