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Book and Media Reviews
November 3, 2010

End-of-Life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making: A Bioethical Perspective

JAMA. 2010;304(17):1959-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1600

In End of life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making: A Bioethical Perspective, D. Micah Hester, who states in his introduction that he experienced the death of his daughter born prematurely and untouched by his hands, speaks of what he knows about decision making at the end of life. In the introductory chapter, he observes—and I think many readers would agree—that for dying patients, “Loneliness, bitterness and pain are more common than peace and joy.” In this concise and deeply thought-out text, he argues that this need not be true and proposes novel ways to improve care for dying—or, as he would perhaps argue, living—patients.

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