Euthanasia, or ‘good death,’ is standard end-of-life care for many pets. But when it comes to humans, failing a DNR order, doctors tend to go as far as they can to save a life—but is that the best approach? asks University of California psychiatry professor Joseph Pierre.

“I’m not afraid to die. It’s how you’re going to die,” says a patient in the documentary, “Defining Hope.” The film follows individuals and families navigating end-of-life care, focusing on the decision-making process, who is involved and how everyone must assess…

Intro to the Series Part I: Palliative Pain Relief Woefully Inadequate Worldwide reveals that in much of the world, unrelieved suffering is a daily reality.

Every year, more than 60 million people worldwide are forced to endure unrelieved pain and suffering—about 2.5 million of them children. They don’t need to. An October 2017 Lancet Commission report on palliative care not only documented the extent of unrelieved suffering,…

As a palliative care doctor in Kerala, India, M.R. Rajagopal, MD, sees suffering every day. Often, that suffering could be alleviated with inexpensive opioid medications, but pain killers are largely unavailable to poor people in India and around the world.

In 2014, a couple named Thampan and Padmini sat in a hospital room in the Kasaragod district of India watching their 9-year-old son as he suffered from agonizing pain in the end-stages of a terminal disease. His 2 siblings had already died, reportedly from the effects of…

Though rich Western nations tend to rank above poorer nations for palliative care, Mongolia came in 28th in the 2015 Quality of Death Index, ahead of several countries with more money and better health care systems.  

Kerala, India, a WHO demonstration site for palliative care, is an exception in a country that ranks 67th out of 80 countries in terms of access to end-of-life care. The state has 3% of India’s population, yet provides 2/3 of its palliative care services.  

 

Burned by an electrical current while climbing a commuter train with 2 friends as a college student, triple amputee and doctor B.J. Miller now aims to reclaim end-of-life suffering as a human experience rather than a medical one. Miller has gone on to become a public…