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Book and Media Reviews
April 16, 2008

To Die Well: Your Right to Comfort, Calm, and Choice in the Last Days of Life

JAMA. 2008;299(15):1843. doi:10.1001/jama.299.15.1843

We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.
We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.
—David Sarnoff

During their lives, most persons prefer to avoid thinking about their final destination, but when that destination nears, they begin to grapple and to agonize over concerns and issues that they had previously and intentionally avoided. To Die Well, by Drs Wanzer and Glenmullen, brings ne—eded hope and comfort to those who are near death and to those who attend the dying and are responsible for ensuring that a good death is possible. The book will appeal to patients, their families, and their caregivers. The text is an easy read, allowing one to return to specific chapters to review details that might be fleeting in the narrative. The book is organized around a constellation of factors that surround the dying person, including their rights, needs, and reasonable expectations. Accordingly, the book includes several useful appendices that help inform and educate.