The way Dr. Dan Morhaim describes it, the hardware of prolonging lives is far more advanced than the software. Ventilators, chemotherapy, pills, transfusions, grafts and transplants help keep people going for years beyond what their great-grandparents could expect. But the philosophy of end-of-life care, the hard job of looking death in the eye, seems stuck in the pre-penicillin age...

View the Full Review >


In his new book, author and practicing physician Dr. Dan Morhaim explores end-of-life care and the tough decisions that we must make as we prepare to depart our existence. Morhaim informs readers about considerations such as where to find readily available living wills and advance directives and why it is important to use them...

View the Full Review >

Radio Interview

Dan Morhaim is a legislator, a doctor and an author. In his book The Better End: Surviving and Dying on Your Own Terms in Today’s Modern Medical World, he discusses end of life care and the importance of having an advanced directive to make your wishes known about how you would like to be cared for while dying. We talk with Dr. Morhaim about his book and advanced directives.

View the Full Review >

MARYLAND MORNING : Interview with Sheilah Kast

As a practicing physician, Morhaim (health medicine & policy, Johns Hopkins Univ.; delegate, Maryland General Assembly) has watched the detrimental effects that end-of-life procedures have on dying patients, their families, and the medical personnel who care for them. He has made it his personal mission to urge patients to prepare advance directives - legal documents that convey decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time - to improve the comfort and quality of a dying patient’s care. Morhaim's book should take the mystery out of the critical care and end-of-life process. This book will prepare readers to discuss this very important topic...

View the Full Review >

Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.

This book is very helpful if you are facing end of life issues for yourself or someone you love. The author has the unique ability to present complex, emotionally fraught information in a simple but not overly simplistic manner, willing to discuss some of the toughest things life and death throw our way. He also uses real life stories to bring his points home and offers some really sound advice. There is so much we don't know about death and dying, but we do know that it's inevitable and you can only make things better by being prepared. My dad recently died after a long illness and this book helped us prepare for that day so his wishes could be followed. I recommend it to everyone I know. You won't regret this purchase.

View the Full Review >

Reviewed by Tricia C.

As an emergency room doctor, I've seen this all too often. An ambulance brings in a frail, elderly nursing home patient with shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and plunging blood pressure. The wasted and contracted limbs indicate years of incapacitation, and the medical record reveals a long history of dementia. As we intensely work to restore stability, probing paper-thin skin for a vein, the patient suddenly goes into cardiac arrest. Does the patient have an advance directive or a do-not-resuscitate order? No. So the ER team goes into full CPR mode, cracking brittle ribs with each chest compression. If "successful," the patient will endure pain and confusion that may last for the rest of his or her life, however short or long that may be...

View the Full Review >


Dr. Dan appears on Maryland Public Television's Direct Connection discussing "The Better End."

Watch Monday, Jan. 09, 2012 on PBS. See more from Direct Connection.


Dr. Dan Morhaim Discusses His Book 'The Better End' with Fox 5

View source


Most of us can imagine the details of an unplanned and unpleasant death: Car accidents, sudden stroke-heart attack. But how much thought have you given to the death that can be planned? An illness that you won't recover from? An injury that may ultimately claim your life?

View the Full Review >


For me, the best way to figure out what I’m trying to figure out is through stories. I loved The Better End: Surviving (and Dying) on Your Own Terms in Today’s Modern Medical World by Dr Dan Morhaim, (Johns Hopkins University Press). It's filled with stories from Dr Morhaim’s extensive career in medicine.

At 150 pages, “The Better End” is an easy read, and packed with smarts, insights, and empathy. It’s both thoughtful and thought-provoking...

View the Full Review >


The closest I have ever come to making an advance directive was when I watched the Seinfeld episode, "The Comeback," back in the 90s. You know the one: Kramer rents a movie about a woman in a coma called, "The Other Side of Darkness," and is inspired to write a living will in case a similar fate befalls him.

Seinfeld, otherside of darknessThere's a tepid punchline to Cosmo's sudden interest in planning for end-of-life care. He hurries to amend his living will ("don't pull the plug!") after watching the end of the movie when the fictitious protagonist emerges from her coma. At death's door, one's fate can go either way....

View the Full Review >

By Krishna Andavolu, Managing Editor

Morhaim tells of an elderly man from back in the 1970s who was dying in the hospital of "heart, lung and kidney failure with all their complications."

View the Full Review >

L. W. Milam

End-of-Life Care Issues: A Personal, Economic, Public Policy, and Public Health Crisis

View the Full Story >

American Journal of Public Health

Enter Discount Code "NAF" for
25% OFF at Hopkins