Ira Byock, MD

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Ira Byock, MD
author of Dying Well

The Best

Care Possible


a NEW BOOK by Ira Byock, MD

A doctor on the front lines of hospital care illuminates one of the most important and controversial ethical issues of our time.

Dr. Ira Byock, one of the foremost palliative-care physicians in the country, argues that how we die is among the biggest national crises facing us today.

In addressing the sorry state of dying in America, 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 dying and acknowledge the fact of mortality once and for all. In so doing, we can live emotionally authentic, healthier, and more joyful lives.

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, leading-edge academic medical center to show what the best care through the end of life can look like and how doctors and nurses can profoundly shape the way families experience loss.



Early Praise for The Best Care Possible

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More at

NEW....In The Media

The Diane Rehm Show
New Efforts To Expand Options For Terminally Ill Patients
Ira Byock, MD
The Diane Rehm Show, Oct 23, 2014

CBS 60 Minutes
Ending Life
Ira Byock, MD
CBS 60 Minutes, Oct 19, 2014

PBS The NewsHour
Should terminally ill patients be able to choose when they die
Ira Byock, MD
PBS The NewsHour, Oct 14, 2014

The New York Times
Room for Debate: Expanding the Right to Die - It Violates Medical Principles and Is Dangerous

Ira Byock, MD
New York Times Online Edition, Oct 6, 2014

CBS 60 Minutes
The Cost of Dying: End of Life Care
Ira Byock, MD
CBS 60 Minutes, Nov 22, 2009


Other books authored by Dr. Byock

New... 10th Anniversary Edition
The Four Things That Matter Most
Simon & Schuster / Atria, June 2014
Dying Well: The Prospect of Growth at the End-of-Life
Putnam / Riverhead, 1997
Palliative and End-of-Life Pearls 
Co-authored with John E.Heffner, MD 
Hanley and Belfus, Inc., 2002
A Few Months to Live: Different Paths to Life's End     
Co-authored with Jana Staton and Roger Shuy, Georgetown University Press, 2001