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“There is no palliative care physician for whom I have more respect and admiration than Ira Byock. In this strikingly important book, Byock presents an agenda for end-of-life care that should serve as an ideal template on which to build our best hopes for the final days of those we love and ourselves—and a corrective for our society.” –Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and author of How We Die
"With elegance, compassion, and energy, Ira Byock shows us how to get the best end of life care. He is a great storyteller and a brilliant analyst of health care in America. This is the book to read or give, if you are facing this hard situation. Nobody gets out of this life alive, but Byock shows us how to do it elegantly and well." — Jane Isay, author of Walking on Eggshells
"This is an extraordinary and wise book on how dying people can be cared for. Written by a master clinician, a man of great compassion, Ira Byock has a vision of health care that is brilliant and kind." -Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center, Sante Fe, author of Being with Dying
"In a world in which politics are polarized and ethical discussions often descend into a food fight, Ira Byock is that rare doctor: a humane guide leading us with honesty and compassion through complex stories about living and dying well. He's a real-life rebuke to those who think palliative doctors are "death panels" and a mentor to every medical student inevitably faced with mortality. This is must reading for everyone trying to make humane decisions in a high tech world." - Ellen Goodman, longtime syndicated columnist for The Boston Globe
“At a time when a long life can become a curse as readily as a blessing, this lucid and compassionate book points the way to more humane treatment of a life’s last days.” –Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
“The baby boom generation has transformed every stage of live we’ve touched. We’re now transforming the dying process. And Dr. Byock is leading the way… brilliantly!” – Christiane Northrup, MD, ob/gyn and author of the New York Times bestselling Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause
"A magnificent, moving, and deeply important work. Ira Byock is a trailblazer whose life’s work has forever changed the way we view dying in this country. But there’s much more to be done. The Best Care Possible is Byock’s urgent and passionate call to action for the nation. This book is a must-read for anyone who thinks there’s even a possibility that they someday might die.” –Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, author-editor of Listening Is an Act of Love
“In a world of sound bites, end-of-life concerns are framed politically with emotionally charged rhetoric. Above the clamor, Dr. Byock writes a compelling case for consistent, compassionate, and enduring palliative care for all people as they reach the winter of their lives. Through vignettes he outlines the challenges for the patient, the caregivers, and the medical community, and ably advocates a revolution of care for the end of life. This is a revolution sorely needed and worth fighting for.” –Pastor Robert Fleischmann, National Director, Christian Life Resources
Ira Byock, MD is a practicing physician. He is Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Professor at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Byock has written widely on the ethics and practice of palliative care and health care systems change. He is a consistent advocate for the voice and rights of patients and their families.