Cover photo: On Lok Senior Community Center. In the preceding report, we described how many African-Americans lack access to basic comfort care at the end of life—hospice and palliative services that can ease pain and suffering during the dying process. The obstacles are even greater for Asians, Latinos, and other ethnic minorities. Language barriers and … Continued

Cover photo: Sharitta Berry, East Oakland resident. The end of life is not easy for most Americans nearing death. The good news is that up to ninety percent of pain can be controlled. But the bad news is that over half of all Americans experience unwanted pain and suffering during their final days. And the … Continued

Cover photo: Portia Diwa, harp therapist, Institute for Health and Healing. Music at the bedside is an ancient tradition that dates back hundreds of years to the Middle Ages. Eleventh century Benedictine monks used music as part of their deathbed vigils to bring comfort and healing to those who were dying. Those practices fell out … Continued

Most Americans are unprepared for the worst to happen—an accident or an unexpected illness that leaves them brain dead, but still alive. That’s what happened to Terry Schiavo, a young woman who became comatose after suffering a heart attack in 1990. Schiavo was kept alive by a feeding tube for fifteen years After a highly … Continued

Cover photo: Death over Dinner, Jewish Community Center East Bay. Death is an uncomfortable subject for many people. The way we die is probably the most important conversation Americans are not having. But during the last five years, a movement has grown to break the silence. Thousands of people around the world are now holding … Continued

Cover photo: Brittany Manard and her dog Charlie. On June 9, 2016, physician aid-in-dying became legal in California. The new “End Of Life Option Act” allows terminally ill people to hasten their deaths. Opinion polls have shown strong support for assisted-dying over the last thirty years. But Catholic Church leaders and medical groups have beaten … Continued

Cover photo: Luca Singer, former resident of Zen Hospice Project. Modern medicine has cured diseases and brought great advances that were unimaginable a hundred years ago. The average life span has nearly doubled during the last century. While people are living longer, they’re now facing health challenges that hadn’t existed before—severe chronic illness, dementia, and … Continued

Cover photo: Dr. Dawn Gross and her family in the KALW studios. “Death” is a subject that doesn’t come up in many conversations. Most of us instinctively turn away from such morbid thoughts. All of us will die some day. Yet, thinking about death, planning for the end of life is just too difficult. But … Continued