TED Video and Discussion Series

Date: September 14, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM


September 14


Room N110

Free Admission


Dr. Bruce (BJ) Miller

“What Really Matters at the End of Life”

Our next TED talk is by Dr. Bruce (BJ) Miller, entitled, “What really matters at the end of life.” BJ’s passion for palliative care stems from personal experience – an extremely high voltage shock sustained while a Princeton undergraduate cost him three limbs and nearly killed him. But his experiences form the foundation of a hard-won empathy for patients who are running out of time. As a palliative care specialist, BJ helps patients face their own deaths realistically, comfortably, and on their own terms. BJ is cultivating a model for palliative care organizations around the world, and emphasizing healthcare’s quixotic relationship to the inevitability of death. He was a hospice and palliative medicine physician who was instrumental in starting The Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, which was the first Buddhist hospice care center in America. He now sees patients and families at the UC San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As a side note, this TED talk was given immediately after a TED talk by the Dalai Lama.

Using empathy and a clear-eyed view of mortality, BJ shines a light on healthcare’s most ignored facet: preparing for death. A quote from the talk puts his philosophy in perspective:  “Life and health and healthcare become something about life more wonderful than less horrible.”

As a side note, Len Smith, the moderator for this talk, had his entire philosophy about the end of life treatment changed in 19 minutes.

We hope you can join us for a fascinating talk.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the TED talks feature experts in a variety of fields who present unique ways of looking at their respective fields of expertise.

Everyone is welcome to these free sessions.

A discussion will take place after the lecture.


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