Ep. 384 People Don’t Die Like They Do in the Movies with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn how to counteract the misinformation about death in modern media and teach people the truth about the natural dying process.

In this episode I welcome back my recurring guest Barbara Karnes who is a hospice nurse, international speaker, and author of the books Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience and By Your Side: A Guide for Caring for the Dying at Home. We discuss her slogan “People don’t die like they do in the movies” and how popular media, including television, film and books, provide misleading and inaccurate portrayals of the dying process. Learn how to get a T-shirt with the slogan on her website:


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This episode includes:

  • How movies and television programs misinform people about death and dying
  • The consequences of inaccurate portrayals of the end of life in popular media
  • What the natural dying process actually looks like
  • The “work” of dying and how to support a person in the process
  • Why we can’t expect a dying loved one to do or say something to support us
  • How a person’s breathing changes before death
  • Preparation for the dying process helps loved one be more present at the bedside
  • How CPR is depicted in medical TV shows as a miracle procedure that works most of the time
  • The actual facts about CPR
  • Confusion in advance care planning due to misinformation
  • Choosing the right healthcare proxy

Links mentioned in this episode:

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