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Gustavo Ferrer: Making Peace with Death

Gustavo Ferrer, MD, is a pulmonologist who specializes in end-of-life care and has been named one of the best doctors in the nation—including Most Compassionate Doctor—by US News & World Report. With Sounds True, he has published Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Ferrer about our society’s anxiety around death and how he tries to alleviate it for both patients and their families. Dr. Ferrer advocates strongly for a conscious approach to dying, especially when it comes to getting one’s affairs in order so that death does not become even more of a burden for loved ones. Tami and Dr. Ferrer also discuss the need for open, honest conversations about dying and why this can actually help alleviate our fears around the process. Finally, Dr. Ferrer recounts the time he spent with the Warao people of South America as a young medical student, describing how their acceptance of death and grieving as a people greatly influenced his current approach to end-of-life care. (60 minutes)

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