It happens to everyone.
But despite that, we don’t talk about it. Death has become a medicalized experience hidden away in hospitals and institutions. It’s a cultural taboo — a sign of failure for doctors and society alike. An experience we don’t think about, plan, or share.
That’s why Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, MD founded End Well: to bring people, across all disciplines, together so we can ignite a conversation about how we live and how we die.
Dr. Ungerleider is obsessed with moving the dial on improving the end of life experience. She found herself attending healthcare conferences across the country and founded a palliative care education fund to train doctors in her hospital. Although inspired by the incredible work that was happening, she knew there was a missing piece.
Doctors speak to doctors.
Hospice workers speak to hospice workers.
Insurers speak to insurers.
Policymakers speak to policymakers.
But no one talks to patients.
She realized professionals are seeking a medical solution. But dying isn’t a medical issue. It’s a human issue.
So, Dr. Ungerleider founded the End Well Symposium in 2017 to transform the perception, policy, and care to support a person’s goals and values at the end of life. End Well became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2018.
Everyone is qualified to engage in the work of improving the end of life experience. Simply by virtue of being human, you can support the movement to make the end of life human-centered for all.
“People who work in this space, or who have sat by the bed of someone dying, know that something sacred is happening at end of life. That a window is opening to the mystery of what it is that binds us together as part of a huge and wondrous whole. I know that, for me, being reminded of mortality makes my life immeasurably sweeter, richer, and miraculous.
– Shoshana Ungerleider, MD