The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care through the End of Life

The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care through the End of Life

by Ira Byock
4.6 13

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care through the End of Life by Ira Byock

A palliative care doctor on the front lines of hospital care illuminates one of the most important and controversial ethical issues of our time on his quest to transform care through the end of life.

It is harder to die in this country than ever before. Statistics show that the vast majority of Americans would prefer to die at home, yet many of us spend our last days fearful and in pain in a healthcare system ruled by high-tech procedures and a philosophy to "fight disease and illness at all cost."

Dr. Ira Byock, one of the foremost palliative-care physicians in the country, argues that end-of-life care is among the biggest national crises facing us today. In addressing the crisis, politics has trumped reason. Dr. Byock explains that to ensure the best possible care for those we love-and eventually ourselves- we must not only remake our healthcare system, we must also move past our cultural aversion to talking about death and acknowledge the fact of mortality once and for all.

Dr. Byock describes what palliative care really is, and-with a doctor's compassion and insight-puts a human face on the issues by telling richly moving, heart-wrenching, and uplifting stories of real people during the most difficult moments in their lives. Byock takes us inside his busy, cutting-edge academic medical center to show what the best care at the end of life can look like and how doctors and nurses can profoundly shape the way families experience loss.

Like books by Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, The Best Care Possible is a compelling meditation on medicine and ethics told through page-turning, life or death medical drama. It is passionate and timely, and it has the power to lead a new kind of national conversation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101561041
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/15/2012
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 618,229
File size: 698 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
New_News More than 1 year ago
I found Dr. Byock the kind of doctor I want around when I become seriously ill. I've been with my family physician for over 20 years. He recently recommended I investigate hospice for a family member, my wife. As a part of the process I looked for books on the subject and found TBCP. Through his writing, I traveled the path of several serious patients - good material for someone who has not had family members pass away for a long time. Well explained thinking on many of the issues that come into play, not just case studies. This is a great resource, offering warm, serious writing and wisdom about a topic we all will face one day. Thank you Dr. Byock for writing this book.
lrosenda More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. Most of us will be facing end of life issues with our parents, other family members and ourselves. I think it is pretty safe to say that none of us are ever ready for it. Since I recently have been dealing with my own father and his declining health and near death, it was a very timely read for me. The medical care system in our country is exceptionally complex and expensive. This book does a good job of educating the reader on some of this as well as "gives permission" to choose palliative care, yet discusses how hard that is to come to terms with. I think it is well worth the read.
RochesterReader More than 1 year ago
A well-needed recommendation for health care culture-change in America. A humane approach to spending our final days as optimally possible without technological interference.
JYKWA More than 1 year ago
For anyone of any age thinking of the issue of quality vs. quantity in life, Dr. Byock's book is worth reading. I've often wondered whether Americans' greatest strength - the boundless optimism and can-do attitude - actually works as a liability when it comes to accepting the inevitable. Because accepting death is seen as conceding defeat, might people insist on spending fruitlessly in search of cure for the incurable, thus exacerbating our current healthcare crisis? Dr. Byock's book thoughtfully explains the alternative and how going with hospice and palliative care may help to give the patients and their families time to grieve and bond, the time which might otherwise be lost if they were to endure endless cycles of painful surgeries and chemotherapy. I recommend the book to everyone, whether one is healthy or ill, because we'll all have to make the decision sometime in our lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A family member has pancreatic cancer, for which there is no cure. At this point it is a matter of quantity vs quality of life. This book has given me much insight and clarity about how to deal with the last season of their life. Definitely one of the best books I've read in awhile. Another book recommendation is "What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying" by Karen Wyatt, MD (2/21/2012)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I said above this book is highly recommended.
Antysu More than 1 year ago
I have read many of Dr. Byock's books and this is by far the best.. I met Dr. Byock at Dartmouth Medical Center in Lebanon, NH while a family member was ill and his methods were/are extraordinary... The end of life should be a private and personal choice... Wonderful book and gives one things to think about....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tell the world about this book .  Invaluable for those friends, acquaintances, family of those dying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago