Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Module V: End of Life Planning

bc talks aging

How should one plan for the end of life? Most people think about completing a last will and testament but many don't consider the medical care they would prefer to receive at the end of their life. This module will provide an overview of multiple facets of advance care planning. It examines both informal and formal planning for end of life care. The importance of a living will and durable power of attorney for health care will be reviewed. Important do’s and don’ts for end of life planning are presented. Dr. Moorman also discusses public policy with regard to end of life planning.

Why Plan for the End of Your Life

Featuring Dr. Sara Moorman, Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston College.


End of Life Planning Do's and Dont's

Featuring Dr. Sara Moorman, Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston College.


Further Resources:


Suggested List of Supplementary Reading:

  • Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2014. Print.
  • Kaufman, Sharon R. And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life. New York: Scribner, 2005. Print.
  • Chast, Roz. Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? New York: Bloomsbury, 2014. Print.



Selected List of References:

  • Silveira, M. J., Kim, S. Y. H., & Langa, K. M. (2010). Advance directives and outcomes of surrogate decision making before death. New England Journal of Medicine, 362, 1211-1218. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa0907901
  • Riley, G. F. & Lubitz, J. D. (2010). Long-term trends in Medicare payments in the last year of life. Health Services Research, 45, 565-576. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01082.x
  • Morrison, L. J., Neumar, R. W., Zimmerman, J. L., Link, M. S., Newby, K., McMullan, P. W., … & Edelson, D. P. (2013). Strategies for improving survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States: 2013 consensus recommendations. Circulation, 127, 1538-1563. doi: 10.1161/​CIR.0b013e31828b2770
  • Institute of Medicine. (1997). Approaching death: Improving care at the end of life. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  • Lopez-Acevedo, M., Havrilesky, L.J., Broadwater, G., Kamal, A.H., Aberneth, A.P., Berchuck,      A., ... Lee, P.S. (2013). Timing of end-of-life care discussion with performance of end-of-life quality indicators in ovarian cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 30(1), 156-161. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.04.010