Ted Talks


Phyllis Shacter: Not Here by Choice

Nov 2013: In this 17-minute TEDx video, Phyllis Shacter talks compellingly about her husband’s decision to voluntarily stop eating and drinking (VSED) to avoid living in the late stages of Alzheimer’s.

Kelli Swazey: Life that doesn’t end with death
Apr 2013: In Tana Toraja, weddings and births aren’t the social gatherings that knit society together. In this part of Indonesia, big, raucous funerals form the center of social life. Anthropologist Kelli Swazey takes a look at this culture, in which the bodies of dead relatives are cared for even years after they have passed. While it sounds strange to Western sensibilities, she says, this could actually be a truer reflection of the fact that relationships with loved ones don’t simply end when breathing does. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life
Feb 2013: Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares 5 practices for planning for a good end of life.

Candy Chang: Before I die I want to…
Jul 2012: In her New Orleans neighborhood, artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Her neighbors’ answers — surprising, poignant, funny…

Peter Saul: Let’s talk about dying
Nov 2011: We can’t control if we’ll die, but we can “occupy death,” in the words of Dr. Peter Saul. He calls on us to make clear our preferences for end of life care – and suggests two questions for starting the conversation. (Filmed at TEDxNewy.)

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
Dec 2010: Buddhist Roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she’s learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.

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