News & Media


Dying Well - The Gift We Gave Each Other

Jul 24, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

I gave my husband Bruce the gift of dying well, and although by definition a gift is something given without expectation of a return, the gift I got in return was as profound as the gift I gave.We gave each other what most people want at the end of life, a sense of completion. As I look back, I have never thought there was something I would or could have done differently.


Industry Voices—5 steps to ensure your patients—like my husband—receive the end-of-life care they want

Jul 24, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

People with terminal illnesses don’t die alone. As part of a team, physicians play a critical role in helping their patients make the right choices consistent with their goals. Here are five steps you can take to help your patients receive the end-of-life-care they want.

The Virginian Pilot Guest Columnist Susan Ducharme Hoben: Taking control of our final days

Jul 17, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben
We as a society have not come to terms with dying as a natural part of living. Medical science has outstripped our ability to distinguish what can be done versus what should be done. This results in end-of-life care that is often aggressive, expensive and not in accordance with what patients want. Far too many of us die in hospitals, in pain, isolated from our friends and families. We all need to take control of our final days.

What we can learn from how Charles Krauthammer has chosen to die: Guest opinion

Jul 17, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

It's important for us to have role models for dying well. Observing the words and actions of those dealing with a terminal prognosis, whether we know them personally or only as figures in the public spotlight, can be an emotionally powerful way to gain new insights. Fear prevents us from even thinking about death, let alone talking about it or planning for it. The more we know about other people's end-of-life journeys the less we will fear our own and perhaps, with each new experience shared, we will become more comfortable with the inevitable. 

Doctors' Roles in Better Outcomes, Lower Costs for Terminally Ill Patients

Jul 17, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben
In death, as in life, there are choices we make that determine the quality of our existence. While we may not be able to control the cause of our death, there are decisions we make that determine whether or not we die well. Susan Ducharme Hoben is the author of the memoir Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss. Recalling how she lost her husband to cancer — and the health care process that navigated him through his terminal diagnosis — she details the means by which physicians can correct errors in patient fulfillment and financial burden at the end of their lives.


Too many Americans fail to plan for end-of-life care

Jun 15, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben
There are institutional changes required to improve end-of-life care, i.e., restructuring the U.S. payment system and policies to support palliative care provision and updating medical school curriculum to educate clinicians about end-of-life care. These are necessary components of a long-term solution but institutions are slow to change. In the meantime there are personal barriers to dying well, largely fueled by fear and lack of information, which can be addressed now. 

How to talk to your loved ones about end of life decisions

Jun 11, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben
WTNHIt's National Health Care Decision Week. Hoben explains why it's important to understand advance care planning and why you should discuss and document future healthcare wishes and decisions.

Susan Ducharme Hoben Interview on KVMR

Jun 08, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben
KVMRToday our guest is Susan Ducharme Hoben, author of the memoir, "Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss," which chronicles her and her husband Bruce's story, and their experiences with his journey through terminal cancer.

NBC Connecticut News @ 11 Interview

May 23, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

Kerri Lee Mayland interviews Susan Ducharme Hoben about John McCain and dying well.

What it Means to Die Well and Why You Must Care

May 16, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

UkenWhat does it mean to “die well”? The simple answer is it means dying the way you want to. Of course that then leads to more complicated and thought-provoking questions: How do you want to die? And when is it time to start thinking about that?

Minnie's Axioms: My Mother as Role Model for Living Well

May 11, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

I am often reminded that I am my mother’s daughter, but Mother’s Day is a special occasion to reflect on Minnie’s Axioms and pay tribute to the way she lived her life and died well.

Reviewing Shelf - Dying Well by Susan Ducharme Hoben

May 05, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

"This book is about embarking on a journey with bravery and courage. It’s a lesson in dying and how to do it well; how to really live until the last moment of one’s life when death is staring you in the eyes. This ensures there are no regrets and you have lived your life well. It’s a must-read for anyone and everyone who has a family member with a terminal illness or is undergoing one, themselves. It gives you a perspective of how until death arrives, every moment of life is to be celebrated and made use of, with friendships fostered and relationships made even richer." - Reviewing Shelf

Having The Conversation – Once Is Not Enough

Apr 02, 2018 by Susan Ducharme Hoben

Bruce’s decision to stop treatment was not as hard as one might expect. We had been talking about it in the abstract for months, even years. We had living wills and health care directives. We had reaffirmed them when I’d had open-heart surgery, again when Bruce was diagnosed. Now, when the abstract became real, we did not agonize over whether it was still what we wanted. Our end-of-life wishes had been formed over a lifetime of watching people die, and just as importantly, watching people live.