Being Mortal – Book Review

Being Mortal – Book Review

Atul Gawande is one of my favorite authors.  I loved the Checklist Manifesto and was able to take a lot of those ideas to improve business processes in pretty much any venture I’ve been involved with.  Gawande has the gift of identifying an obvious truth where others see only complexity.  In Being Mortal, he takes […]

Living Will or Advance Directive

Living Will or Advance Directive

What is the difference between a living will and an advance directive? They are the same. They both are a document that you sign stating your wishes for use of life sustaining treatments. This only goes into place when you are can’t make decisions for yourself or have a terminal condition. When does a Living […]

Medical Power of Attorney

Medical Power of Attorney

What is a medical durable power of attorney? This is a person who you have designated to make decisions about your medical care if you are not able to do so. Why do I need a medical durable power of attorney? In some states, Colorado included, no one is automatically authorized to make medical decisions […]

Ever been to a death cafe?

Ever been to a death cafe?

One of the first thoughts that came up for me when I heard the term death café was “What the hell is on the menu?”  Turns out, not that type of café. The death café I attended was being hosted at the Tattered Cover Bookstore, one of the landmarks and cultural mainstays of Denver.  The […]

How shadowing a palliative care team got me thinking more about life than death

How shadowing a palliative care team got me thinking more about life than death

When Jean Kutner invited me to shadow her palliative care team over at University Hospital, I immediately jumped at the idea.  It sounded like a great opportunity to learn and it scared me –  two great reasons to say yes.  I also knew that I would have to make peace with my own discomfort with […]