In medical school, one teaches you how to let a patient die. Currently, the old and the ill are intubated, catheterised, and even shelved away in care facilities to live out their final days alone, confused, and sometimes in pain. In her work, Zitter has learned to understand that what patients fear more than death itself is the prospect of dying alone. Filled with the kinds of rich patient stories that make the most compelling medical narratives, Extreme Measures thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.
Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D., MPH, is an expert on the medical experience of death and dying. She attended Stanford University and Case Western Reserve Medical School, and completed her residency in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She was a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California San Francisco. Zitter is double-boarded in the two specialties of pulmonary/critical care medicine and palliative care medicine--a rare combination. She writes for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, and Journal of Palliative Medicine, and is featured in Extremis, an Oscar-nominated documentary about end-of-life decision-making in an ICU.