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The Old Ball Game

The Old Ball Game
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Do you get just a little choked up when you sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game? What is that about?

Fatal Wallpaper

Fatal Wallpaper
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Our wallpaper is a mess; how long are we going to keep trying to avoid looking at it?

Ukraine & Things Worse than Death

Ukraine & Things Worse than Death
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

As the personal stories of Ukrainian resolve demonstrate, there are things worse than death.

Palliative Care and Structure to the "Or"

Palliative Care and Structure to the "Or"
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

If you are being asked to make a potentially life or death decision for someone you love, how can you do that without understanding the choices?

Jesus Wept

Jesus Wept
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Jesus wept; this is the shortest verse in the Bible, but we often miss its significance.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

We sing along with the Munchkins as they celebrate their liberation: Ding dong, the witch is dead! But what exactly are we cheering for?

My Debt to Dr. Eric Cassell

My Debt to Dr. Eric Cassell
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Last week I learned of the death of a giant; the more the health care system pays attention to what he had to say, the better we all will be.

Proven Effective Spirituality: In 12 Simple Steps

Proven Effective Spirituality: In 12 Simple Steps
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
How do you know if your beliefs are right, if your religion is correct, if your spirituality is healthy? The simple answer is, “does it work?”

Religion Healthy Enough to Die With

Religion Healthy Enough to Die With
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

These characteristics of healthy and unhealthy religion clearly fit when it comes to peace at the end of life.

Flip the Pillow

Flip the Pillow
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
“Remember, the patient is the one in the bed.” Well, DUH! But this is one of the essentials of all medical care: we act for the benefit of the patient.

Treat the Pain; Relieve the Hunger

Treat the Pain; Relieve the Hunger
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

In hospice and palliative care, we must address pain, no matter who the person is. LIkewise we should feed the hungry no matter who they are.

Do we have to do this again?

Do we have to do this again?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I just do not get it. What part of our this pandemic was so appealing that some people want to bring it back?

Kangaroo Mother Care

Kangaroo Mother Care
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Kangaroo mother care, a simple but magical treatment, shows that the whole person care we give in hospice is also the best approach at the start of life.

Waking up Dead

Waking up Dead
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Could it be that sleep is the closest we come to what being dead is like?

One-Armed Paper Hanger

One-Armed Paper Hanger
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Martha said that if she had surgery to remove the cancer in her arm, then God would not heal her. What if she was right?

Death with dignity and Lady Gaga?

Death with dignity and Lady Gaga?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I am certain Lady Gaga was talking about something other than dying with dignity in her song, Do What U Want (with my body), but that's what I heard.

Laughing at death: cookies

Laughing at death: cookies
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

Oh snap! An end-of-life story with chocolate chip cookies and a nasty punchline…

Could the Mushrooms Really Be Magic?

Could the Mushrooms Really Be Magic?
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

In a compelling example of what goes around comes around, psychedelic drugs are demonstrating intriguing therapeutic potential, most exciting to me being for dying patients with spiritual pain or existential distress.

Devil on the Cross

Devil on the Cross
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
This book knocked my socks off! I've read some African authors like Chinua Achebe, but Devil on the Cross was an epiphany for me.

Laughing at death: marriage

Laughing at death: marriage
by Dr. Jeff Spiess

The relationship between a married couple can provide moments of poignancy, and beauty when it is evident when one of them has reached the end of their life. Today’s post is not about that: here are two more of my favorite old jokes about the end of life.