Teaching Past The Taboo

Dawn Gross, MD, PhD + Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH

The Ars Moriendi, an illustrated text for preparing body, mind and soul for death, was the second book Gutenberg printed using moveable type. How then did Western culture become incapable of speaking honestly and directly about dying? Dawn Gross and Jessica Zitter share their  experiences as palliative care physicians and their inspiration for creating Death Ed, a course for teens.

About the Speaker

A specialist in hematology and hospice and palliative care medicine, Dawn Gross,  MD, PhD is a natural champion of interdisciplinary collaboration. In her work for UCSF, City of Hope and VITAS, she has initiated innovative alliances among providers and payors, top-tier academic institutions, community groups and other stakeholders to further the integration of palliative care services. She is also the creator and host of Dying To Talk, a radio program dedicated to transforming the taboo around death.

Deeply committed to the ideals and delivery of patient-centered medicine, Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH practices ICU and Palliative Medicine at Highland Hospital, a county facility in Oakland, California. Her work there anchors the Oscar-nominated short documentary, Extremis. In addition to her essays and articles appearing in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, JAMA and other publications, Jessica is the author of Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.