Program Details

Let's Talk About Death

Elizabeth Gundersen
Personal Improvement / Other

Course Description

Have you thought about your own mortality? Do you have a friend or family member who may be contemplating theirs? Most of us have a picture in our minds about what we want our final moments to look like, but most of us have never talked about these wishes with our loved ones or doctors. The result? Most Americans die where and how they never intended. How has death become such a taboo subject in our culture? And what can we do about it? In this provocative session, we will discuss the cultural changes, technological advances, and healthcare system issues that have shaped the way we think and talk about death in the United States, including the language and metaphors we use to discuss it. We will examine how these factors have impacted end-of-life care and our beliefs about death and dying. Finally, ways one can have affirming conversations about death and dying with their families, friends, and health care providers will be described. By discussing our fears, our hopes, and how we want to be remembered, we can change not only how we die, but also how we live.

About the Instructor

  • Elizabeth Gundersen, MD, FHM is a physician and Assistant Professor of Hospice and Palliative Care at the Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. She graduated Magna cum Laude from the College of William & Mary; earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia; and completed residency in Family Medicine at UMass Memorial Medical Center and fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Former professional experiences include being the Associate Division Chief of Hospital Medicine and a Physician Quality Office with an emphasis on Transitions of Care at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts; she was also Director of Palliative and Advanced Care Planning for Trustbridge in West Palm Beach, Florida. Gundersen currently chairs the Ethics Advisory Group for the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. She is a published author on end-of-life care including book chapters in Psychology and Geriatrics: Integrated Care for an Aging Nation and the Oxford Textbook of Geriatrics.

Upcoming programs presented by Elizabeth Gundersen.

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