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Books by Dr. Ed



Being present at the bedside—and even at the moment of death—can become an experience embedded in the minds and souls of family members for generations. It is a deeply emotional time, one of relief and sadness. Anyone who has taken that final journey with a loved one will never, ever forget those moments.

Dr. Edward Creagan has dedicated his life to death. And now this esteemed medical doctor examines death, not only from a medical standpoint, but from an acutely emotional perspective as events beyond our control unfold.

For more than forty years, he has been at the bedside with patients, addressing the end-of-life questions patients and their families ask. This book is about navigating those last days, at the bedside, and saying farewell with hope, love, and compassion.

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Vital end-of-life questions answered

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  • How Can We Die a Good Death?

  • What Happens at the Deathbed?

  • What Is Death, Actually?

  • “Doc, How Long Do I Have to Live?”

  • Why Is the Family Meeting So Critically Important? 

  • How Do We Make Sense of Deathbed Confessions?

  • How Can We Relieve Pain? 

  • What Does “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) Really Mean?

  • Who Pulls the Plug?

  • What Is the Role of the Advance Directive and Healthcare Proxy?

How Not
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REVISED 2022 third edition. Includes new topics on COVID, telemedicine, and the electronic medical record. As a cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ed has treated very sick patients. He has learned about resilience and survivorship from them.

This book is not just about lifestyle choices, although these are important aspects of Dr. Creagan’s healthy living plan. It is about using your precious minutes in the exam room (the average doctor visit is about 15 minutes), forging the right kind of relationship with your care providers (because that world is changing quickly), and understanding and using the healthcare system—instead of having the system use (and often abuse) you.


​If you learn to use your relationship with your doctor to your advantage and focus on your personal lifestyle decisions, you’ll save time, money and your health—even in the face of a dire diagnosis. Use this book, use the medical system, and start planning now … so you’ll never be Dr. Ed's patient.

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If you want to be healthy for life...

  • Learn to talk so your doctor will listen.

  • ​Understand every diagnosis—and realize that you can survive bad news.

  • Follow Dr. Ed’s 8 simple commandments for living well—and long enough to cash in your 401(k).

  • Separate hype from hope, especially with perplexing medical headlines and confusing Internet information.

  • Get insight into what your doctor wasn’t taught in medical school.

  • Combine the best of traditional and complementary treatments.

  • Make simple lifestyle changes to improve your health.

  • Adopt the essential steps to achieving health, peace, and happiness.

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