BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, and he presented this very moving TED talk earlier this year. Miller tries to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients, asking what do they really want? Miller, who suffered a horrific accident as a young man and was close to death himself, says, "Let's begin at the end. For most people it's not death that they fear - it's dying".
Watch the TED talk, and/or read the transcript of What really matters at the end of life.