Educational Resources

Advance Care Planning

“WGVU Family Health Matters: Advance Care Planning”

Are You Prepared for Your Final Days? – CBS News

Being Mortal – Atul Gawande

Tools to Start the Conversation

Making Choices Michigan Overview

The Conversation Project

Death Café

Death Over Dinner

Engage with Grace

Palliative Care & Hospice

Palliative Care, a Different Voice in Healthcare: Timothy Ihrig at TEDxDesMoines

Live Your Best Life
What is the most important part of life? For many, it’s family. Hear from two families in hospice care who have words of wisdom on how to live your best life.

A Beautiful Death – Going Your Way
A video about an 86-year-old who said “no more hospitals, no more chemo.” He faced the end on his own terms.

Funeral Information

A Green Burial (Video)

When I die, recompose me

My Mushroom Burial Suit, a TED Talk by Jae Rhim Lee

Choosing a Hospice

Funeral Consumer Information Society

Funeral Home Comparison Tool: 
Please note: For the most accurate, up-to-date results, call the local funeral home of your choice. 

Whole Body Donation Programs

Body Farm at Northern Michigan University

Michigan State University Willed Body Program

University of Michigan Anatomical Donor Program

Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine 

Wayne State University Body Request

Organ and Tissue Donation

 Gift of Life Michigan

Medical ID Jewelry

 American Medical ID

Storage & Retrieval Section

 Great Lakes Health Connect


Website Reference Links

Making End-of-Life Choices that Matter to You

Honoring Healthcare Choices Michigan

Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Health Systems: An information resource guide to end of life care

Futile Care and Advance Directives

MFDA: Talk of a Lifetime

U.S. Catholic – Spelling out your views for end-of-life care is a ‘spiritual’ act 

Greater Grand Rapids End of Life Coalition

Gundersen Lutheran Respecting Choices

Honoring Choices Minnesota

Caring Connections – It’s about how you live

American Bar Association, Health Decisions Resources

Aging with Dignity- Five Wishes, My Wishes, Voicing My Choices

Most people want to die at home, but many land in hospitals getting unwanted care


BBC IDEAS: Beta – Why we need to face our mortality
How should we face the end? My Father’s Wake author Kevin Toolis reflects on the Irish approach to death and dying.

Consider The Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject
Phillip Gould shares his thoughts and insights as he confronts his impending death from esophageal cancer (2011)

Advance Care Planning: Patients Describe their Experiences
Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan 

ZDoggMD: “Ain’t no way to die.”
This is for those who think ACP is only for older people!

The Undertaking
“A good funeral gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.” Thomas Lynch

 York Times- Pitfalls for Proxies  

The importance of having an advance directive. Even more important, having a well informed patient advocate. 

Aging in Iowa: Being prepared for the inevitable
When Syndy was trained to be a facilitator for the Honoring Your Wishes program, which encourages people to think about and record their wishes for their deaths, she and her husband realized they needed to have their own discussions about that difficult topic.

Honoring Choices Minnesota: Faith, Culture & Identity Perspectives.
An excellent collection of videos about “the conversation.” Honoring Choices Minnesota has nearly 700 videos addressing end-of-life decisions from practically every perspective.

Showtime: Time of Death

PBS Frontline – Facing Death

Let’s Talk about Death with Ellen Goodman

Fox17: Have You Had The Talk?

“I’m Dying to Talk with You” by Dave Kampfschulte (Amazing Circles Workshops. Website Link)

Katy Butler: “Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death

NBC Nightly News airs segment about end-of-life planning
NBC medical reporter Nancy Snyderman, MD, recently shared her experiences as a caregiver for her aging parents: “It would be easy to assume that, as a doctor, I could navigate the health care system with ease. But I was as overwhelmed as the next person,” she recalled. On NBC Nightly News, Dr. Snyderman discussed with her parents the importance of living wills and putting their desires into writing.


Caregiver’s Corner Radio: Sanford Freed, CSA inteviews Carol Robinson DNP, RN, CHPN about Advance Care Planning. Listen to episode 44

NPR’s Talk of the Town – Nearly everyone has Advance Directives (and peace of mind) in LaCross, Wisconsin Click to listen

“Let’s Talk Turkey.” – WGVU, Shelley Irwin (2017).  Believe it or not, Advance Care Planning (ACP) and the holidays go together. We discuss how to live and die well with Carol Robinson of Making Choices Michigan and Fred Stella of the Interfaith Dialogue Association. Click here to listen

Nicky Lewis, MSW and Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, discusses the importance of “planning ahead”, with WGVU’s Shelley Irwin on April 8, 2016 Click to listen

“National Healthcare Decisions Day” – WGVU, Shelley Irwin (2018). National Healthcare Decisions Day is celebrated on April 17th and Making Choices Michigan is hosting Journalist Cathy Wurzer for a special presentation. We talk to Cathy and Dr. Carol Robinson, Community Coordinator for Making Choices Michigan. 
Click to listen

Published Information

“Conversation Stopper: What’s Preventing Physicians from Talking with Patients About End-of-Life and Advance Care Planning?” 

Zen and the Art of Dying Well
New York Times Editorial – August 2015

Helping Patients and Doctors Talk About Death 
New York Times Editorial – July 2015

Five Tips for Families Facing End-of-Life Care
Time- May 2012

How Doctors Die (PDF)
(It’s not like the rest of us, but it is the way it should be)
By Ken Murray MD – 2011

How Doctors Die – Doctors Really Do Die Differently (PDF)
(A follow-up to the article above)
By Ken Murray MD – 2012

Living well with breast cancer by choosing wisely: A conversation with Amy Berman (PDF)
By Harold Pollack – December 15, 2014

Bills OK’d to let emergency contact info be encoded in IDs 

Health Care For Seniors Often Goes Beyond Their Desires – Michelle Andrews, NPR – March 2016

Dying in America – (PDF 1.5 mg)
Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life 
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Ira Byock, MD. Website Link

  • Byock, I. (1997). Dying well: The prospect of growth at the end-of-life. Putnam/Riverhead.
  • Byock, I. (2004). The four things that matter most. Simon & Schuster/FreePress.
  • Byock, I. (2012). The best care possible: A physician’s quest to transform care through the end of life. Avery Books.

Colleen Tallen, MD. Website Link

Tallen, C. (2011). Decide while you can: How to make your own medical decisions before someone makes them for you. BigBook Press.

Callanan, M. & Kelley, P. (2012). Final gifts: Understanding the special awareness, needs, and communications of the dying. Simon & Schuster.