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Is it possible to have a good death, free from unnecessary pain and trauma? What if our final days were designed to bring about reconciliation and release?
Dr. Jim deMaine joins us for this virtual conversation with writer Katy Sewall to consider these questions, drawing from his book Facing Death: Finding Dignity, Hope, and Healing at the End, a memoir about helping patients plan for a more peaceful, healing death. He shares stories from his 40 years in busy hospitals and ICUs, and walks through ethical questions around “heroic” interventions. Reaching beyond the traditional scope of a physician, he explores the role of spirituality, conflicts between doctors and families, cultural traditions, and more. Dr. deMaine invites us to a wise and large-hearted conversation, with advice pointing the way toward a grace-filled transition out of life.
Jim deMaine spent nearly 40 years caring for severely ill patients and witnessing their final days as a pulmonary and critical care specialist. He was the chief of medical specialties and co-chaired the ethics committee at Group Health Cooperative (now Kaiser Permanente). He is honored to be a Clinical Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Medicine. His often dramatic experiences with patients near death led him to blog, then speak about their stories, with special attention to the issue of advocacy for patients unable to speak for themselves.
Katy Sewall is the host and creator of “The Bittersweet Life” podcast. She’s a writer, podcast consultant, and a Public Radio professional frequently heard on 94.9 KUOW. She’s also the former Program Director at Town Hall.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.