BJ Miller on What Really Matters at the End of Life

At a recent TED Talk, palliative caregiver BJ Miller took the stage to discuss mortality, healthcare and what it means to prepare for death. In many hospitals, this means throwing every possible medicine or procedure at a patient in order to curb their illness. But Miller argues that that’s just bad design. Instead, healthcare should focus on the person’s inner wellbeing and, in many cases, this means the smell of cookies, the comfort of a family pet or a risky outdoor adventure. Toward the end of life, he says, “Our role as caregivers, as people who care, is to relieve suffering—not add to the pile.”