Seattle, WA — As a global pandemic brings end of life questions urgently to the fore, Clyde Hill Publishing announces the release of a physician’s memoir about helping patients plan for a more peaceful, healing death.
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? In this wise and large-hearted book, Dr. Jim deMaine offers advice pointing the way toward a grace-filled transition out of life.
Facing Death, coming September 29, is both a memoir-in-vignettes and a handbook full of practical advice from Dr. deMaine’s forty years in busy hospitals and ICUs. Using stories from his own life and practice, the veteran physician walks readers through ethical questions around “heroic” interventions: Do we fully understand what we’re asking when we tell doctors to “do everything” to prolong life, even in cases when a patient has no chance of regaining consciousness? If we write advance directives outlining the kinds of care we would, or would not want, how can we ensure that they will be followed?
As a pulmonary and critical care specialist, Dr. deMaine developed deep experience navigating such quandaries with patients and their families. In Facing Death he also treads into territory many physicians avoid, such as the role of spirituality; conflicts between doctors and families; cultural traditions that can aid or impede the goal of a peaceful transition, and ways to leave a moral legacy for our descendants.
“Death is our final earthly act, one that, with conscientious preparation, can be an act of beauty for both the dying and for loved ones left behind. Facing Death is a gift from a most sensitive and wise physician that will inspire readers to think carefully and creatively about their own hopes for a healing, grace-filled transition from life to death. This is a book that will enrich and challenge you to act.”Judith Mayotte, Emmy Award-winning producer, author, and former member of the Catholic order of the Sisters of Charity
“Jim’s stories are actually the best testament that can be made about being alive: to have the grace and wisdom to engage death as part of our lives and make our intentions known in ways that connect with what matters the most to us. Facing Death is a book of incredible insight, wisdom and love.”Cheryl M. Scott, former CEO/President, Group Health Cooperative
“A down to earth and invaluable resource for learning more about death. It’s also, perhaps counterintuitively, a delight to read.”From the foreword by Eric B. Larson, former executive director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, elected member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, and co-producer of the Art of Aging, a news-magazine series on public television.
“Death is a truth we all share, and each of us must shape our response to it. Jim deMaine’s valuable book grows out of his personal sensitivity and professional wisdom as a physician and medical ethicist. The stories he tells in Facing Death offer a gift to those developing their spiritual and practical journeys toward life’s end.”Bishop Cabell Tennis, former dean at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral and past chair of the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission
About the Author: Jim deMaine spent nearly forty 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). Dr. deMaine 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 (www.endoflifeblog.com), then speak about their stories, with special attention to the issue of advocacy for patients unable to speak for themselves. Follow Dr. deMaine on Twitter @deMaineMD.