Farewell

I hope you're having a pleasant holiday. Just as you've taken time off to be with family and friends, so have we. For our Grand Finale, we have dipped into the archives to replay one of your favorite shows from last season. This week, on White Coat, Black Art, we take a revealing yet sensitive look at death from the point of view of people on my side of the gurney.

It seems fitting that we present our take on the 'final frontier' just as we take our leave of you. To me, death is one of the last taboos we have in our society. In my work in emergency, I've encountered many otherwise bright people who struggle to understand that life does not go on forever. Perhaps we are too busy to appreciate the passage of time. Perhaps we hope for a final conversation with a loved one that will right the wrongs of disagreements past.

A wise person once told me, "show me a person who is afraid of death, and I'll show you a person who is afraid to live." Truer words have never been spoken. Though I've tried many times, I know on a deep level that a better conversation or even a better opportunity for a conversation often doesn't come. A wiser course is to live each day and to love each day as if it's your last.

If you were dying, would you want to die suddenly in your sleep? Or, would you want to know as close as possible the final moment, so that you could settle your affairs and let as many friends and families as possible know how much you care about them? Death frightens me just much as the next person. But I'd still choose the latter.

To that end, we've worked on the current season of White Coat, Black Art, knowing that the end was near. We are going on hiatus for the time being. I for one appreciated the chance to choose with care the final stories I wanted to do. My favorites of this season included our two part series on boundaries between health professionals and patients, dealing with suicidal patients, and burnout among health professionals. They are topics that have been on my list for some time. They deal with pressing issues on my side of the gurney. That you were moved by them makes my heart sing.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Senior Producer Quade Hermann and Producers Lara Hindle and Carma Jolly for their hard work this season. And I wanted to thank you for listening intently to the show, and for your passionate emails, voicemails and blog postings. As many of you know, I've worked in broadcasting for more than twenty years. But in all that time, I've never had the response that we've had to this show.

If the powers-that-be smile upon us, I do hope we'll be back with new episodes in the not too distant future. But if that's all she wrote, I wanted to say what a privilege it has been to be invited into your homes, your offices, your cars, and your iPods!

Next, week, Terry O'Reilly and Age of Persuasion return in our time slot with all new episodes. I want to wish them a successful season.

And to all of you, a happy and prosperous New Year.

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