Today most people die gradually, from incremental illnesses, rather than from the heart attacks or fast-moving diseases that killed earlier generations. Given this new reality, the essays in "Final Acts" explore how we can make informed and caring end-of-life choices for ourselves and for those we loveuand what can happen without such planning. Contributors include patients, caretakers, physicians, journalists, lawyers, social workers, educators, hospital administrators, academics, psychologists, and a poet, and among them ...

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