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Improving life in the face of death

Dr. Ira Byock, the director of palliative medicine at DHMC

For more than 30 years, Dr. Ira Byock has been caring for people who are facing difficult, life-threatening illnesses. "I have learned from my patients and their families a surprising truth about dying: this stage of life holds remarkable possibilities," he wrote in his 1997 book, Dying Well. His work to improve the care for these patients has earned him national recognition and helped spread the use of palliative care. In recent years, palliative care has been the subject of increased media attention, and Byock has been among the leaders in speaking for its benefits. His website, www.dyingwell.org, offers more information about palliative medicine and links to some of his writings and appearances in the media. For more about the work of Byock and DHMC's palliative-care team, see the photo essay "Simply present" in the Spring 2011 issue of Dartmouth Medicine. And below are links to interviews with Byock about the care of Americans at the end of life.

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