At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.
Using empathy and a clear-eyed view of mortality, BJ Miller shines a light on healthcare’s most ignored facet: preparing for death. He is executive director at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.
Along with the Zen Hospice Project he directs, palliative care specialist BJ Miller helps patients face their own deaths realistically, comfortably, and on their own terms. Through the work of Zen Hospice Project, Miller is cultivating a model for palliative care organizations around the world, and emphasizing healthcare’s quixotic relationship to the inevitability of death.
Miller’s passion for palliative care stems from personal experience — a shock sustained while a Princeton undergraduate cost him three limbs and nearly killed him. But his experiences form the foundation of a hard-won empathy for patients who are running out of time.