“I cannot thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and your experience in such a kind, understandable, loving way. Your spirituality is evident throughout the entire book. Thank You again! I will at every step of the way do my very best to honor your philosophy and teach your concepts well. God Bless you and please, keep doing your work.” ~ Registered Nurse, Trinidad, Colorado

Hard Choices for Loving People

CPR, Feeding Tubes, Palliative Care, Comfort Measures, and the Patient with a Serious Illness, Sixth Edition

88pp, Soft Cover

by Hank Dunn (ISBN 978-0-9972612-0-2)

Call: 1.877.513.0099
Email: hankdunn@QOLpublishing.com




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Since the first edition was printed in 1990, more than 3.5 MILLION copies of the Hard Choices for Loving People book have been sold to hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, and faith communities nationwide. Author Hank Dunn, a nursing home and hospice chaplain for 30 years, presents thoroughly-researched, reliable medical advice and thoughtful, honest answers for patients and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses and end-of-life decisions.

Hard Choices clarifies issues surrounding end-of-life decisions in an easy-to-read format in language that is easily understood. The book covers the most common medical treatment decisions faced by those who are living with a life-threatening illness:

  • CPR (resuscitation efforts)
  • Artificial hydration and nutrition (feeding tubes)
  • Hospitalization of an ill person
  • The palliative care and hospice care approaches
  • Ventilators, dialysis, antibiotics and pain control, and more.

For anyone facing a life-threatening illness, this book offers comfort, care and a practical approach to dealing with the issues that accompany illness. In the closing chapter, “The Journey to Letting Be,” Chaplain Dunn explores the emotional and spiritual issues patients and families confront as they consider the end of life. These issues are thoughtfully explored and carefully examined as Chaplain Dunn shares his insight and experience surrounding the issues that ultimately affect us all.


Volume Discount Price List

Discounts apply to the total books of all titles ordered. Mix and match to get quantity discounts on unbranded books.

Qty of Books Price Qty of Books Price Qty of Books Price
1-9 $ 7.00 each 100-249 $ 2.73 each 1,500-1,999 $ 1.26 each
10-24 $ 4.88 each 250-499 $ 2.26 each 2,000-3,999 $ 1.16 each
25-49 $ 4.04  each 500-999 $ 1.89 each 4,000+ $1.00 each
50-99 $ 3.57 each 1,000-1,499 $ 1.47 each



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Table of Contents for Hard Choices for Loving People, by Hank Dunn

  • The Four Most Common Decisions
  • Goals of Medical Care
Chapter One: CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
  • Survival Rates with CPR
  • The Burdens of CPR
  • CPR in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Memory Care
  • CPR and the Patient with a Serious Illness
  • CPR and Children
  • CPR Is the Standard Order
Chapter Two: Feeding Tubes
  • The Benefits of Artificial Feeding
  • Artificial Feeding in Non-Responsive Patients
  • The Burdens of Artificial Feeding
  • The Case For Artificial Feeding in Most Circumstances
  • The Case against Artificial Feeding in Some Circumstances
  • Intravenous (IV) Artificial Hydration
  • Does Withholding or Withdrawing Artificial Feeding Cause a Painful Death?
  • The Difference Between Withholding and Withdrawing
  • Artificial Feeding and the Dementia Patient
  • Artificial Feeding and Children
  • A Time-Limited Trial
Chapter Three: Cure Sometimes, Comfort Always
  • Palliative Care
    • A Partnership of Patient, Specialists, and Family
    • What to Expect from Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care
    • Goals of Medical Treatment in the “Last Phase of Life”
    • What Are Comfort Measures?
    • Which Medical Treatments Are Optional?
    • Which Patients Are Candidates for Comfort Measures Only? When Is the Right Time?
    • End-Stage Dementia (like Alzheimer’s) and Comfort Measures Only
    • Children and Comfort Measures Only
    • Turning From Cure to Comfort Measures Only
Chapter Four: Practical Help for Decisionmaking
  • Treatment Option: Hospitalization
  • Treatment Option: Ventilators (Breathing Machines)
  • Treatment Option: Dialysis
  • Treatment Option: Antibiotics
  • Treatment Option: Pacemakers and Implanted Defibrillators
  • Treatment Option: Pain Control
  • What To Do: Practical Help for Decision Making
  • Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and POLST
  • Questions to Help Make a Decision
  • Getting Help with End-of-Life Decisions
Chapter Five: The Journey to Letting Be
  • A Personal Word From a Chaplain
    • My Opinion on CPR
    • My Opinion on Artificial Nutrition and Hydration
    • My Opinion on Hospitalization
    • My Opinion on Hospice and the Comfort Measures Only Order
  • Taking the First Steps in the Journey to Letting Be
    • Changing the Treatment Plan
    • Words to Try When Talking with a Sick Person
    • The Emotional Nature of the Struggle: Treating the Wrong Person
  • Can I Let Go and Let Be?
    • A Lifetime of Letting Go
    • Some Religious Questions
    • The Spiritual Nature of the Struggle
    • Giving Up, Letting Go, and Letting Be
    • Fatal Isn’t the Worst Outcome

Acknowledgements for Hard Choices for Loving People


Click here for a complete list of endnotes and additional references.

Also available in Chinese and Japanese

    • For the Chinese version of Hard Choices for Loving People Click Here
    • For the Japanese version of Hard Choices for Loving People Click Here