| Jul 17, 2011
In the first decade of the 1900s, a Spanish couple boarded a ship in Malaga and sailed to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields. They later continued to California, opened a small grocery store an hour east of San Francisco and raised six children,...
| Dec 28, 2011
Last week, my dad was taken on a practice run from his Northern California nursing home back to his house. He'd had recent hip surgery, and the idea was that if he could master the challenge of getting in and out of the car and the wheelchair, he could...
| Feb 19, 2012
"I'm not sick; I'm only dying," a friend told Dr. William Lamers Jr. The man had inoperable cancer and wanted to go home to die, but his doctor wouldn't let him out of the hospital.
It was the early 1970s, when most people with incurable illnesses died...
| Jul 30, 2011
When you have a loved one approaching the end, you feel like you're walking along the edge of a cliff in the dark, but at least you've got plenty of company.
I'm still sifting through hundreds of responses to my July 17 column about my dad, who took a...
| Dec 14, 2011
"I could show you case after case," said Dr. Neil S. Wenger. "I could bet you million-to-1 odds these patients would not want to be in this situation."
He was talking about patients in critical condition who are "attached to machines, being kept alive"...
| Dec 4, 2011
The cancer that started 11 years ago has now ravaged the body of Freddie Ramos. It attacked a kidney first, then a lung, and the 57-year-old family man knows that death waits in the near distance.
He's not ready to go, he says, but he's prepared....
| Apr 22, 2012
| 9:35 PM
The panel, one of the last at this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, was about the uncomfortable subject of death –- and, even so, it drew a lively and clearly appreciative crowd of several hundred to a USC......
| May 1, 2011
| 4:33 PM
Charles McNulty reviews Anna Deveare Smith's "Let Me Down Easy" at the Lyceum Stage...
| Dec 19, 2010
The Emperor of All Maladies
A Biography of Cancer
Scribner: 572 pp., $30
Siddhartha Mukherjee's "The Emperor of All Maladies," a remarkable history of the 4,000-year-old war on cancer, shines a focused beam of light on a disease...
| Feb 27, 2012
Bonnie Addario didn't even know there was a word for what was happening to her. As if lung cancer weren't bad enough, the 54-year-old had lost 30 pounds off her normally 130-pound frame. Her life was limited to her husband's Barcalounger, where she had to...