End of Life Care

The United States is a resource-rich country with the most advanced medical care and health care delivery systems in the world. In spite of this, funding from public and private sources to advance and sustain end-of-life systems of care remains wholly insufficient to address the ever-growing needs of our aging population.  Many in this country still die without the support they need to end their lives well, and care and cost management systems still are not optimized to support end of life as well as they might.

But there is cause for hope: a growing group of stakeholders are coming together to develop effective approaches that leverage community engagement, optimize resources and care systems, and  – most importantly – preserve and honor the dignity and self-determination of the individual. Clinicians, legal experts, caregivers, policy makers, private funders, spiritual leaders, artists and the media are informing this dialogue and related efforts to develop effective and accessible solutions.

In 2018, NCG is convening a series of conversations and learning opportunities for funders interested in exploring the opportunity to engage and advance innovation in end of life care. Our aim is to enhance knowledge, coordinate learning, align efforts, and identify opportunities for collaborative approaches, and – potentially – to build a movement for engagement in end of life issues.

In the coming months, NCG will invite our members and other key stakeholders to join us in conversations, programs, and meetings about possibilities in this space. 

Every one of us has a professional – and a personal – stake in getting this right. We invite you to join us in what promises to be a rich exploration and dialogue.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 6:30pm

On New Year’s Day 2014, Brittany Maynard discovered that she had terminal brain cancer. Despite an eight-hour surgery and extensive assessments, it was concluded that she had six months to live. Choosing peace over pain and to die with dignity, Maynard and her husband, Dan Diaz, moved from their home in California to Oregon, one of four states at the time that offered a terminally ill patient the option of medical aid in dying. She died on November 1, 2014 at the age of 29.

Before her death, Maynard publicly proclaimed the necessity to expand end-of-life options. Her husband continues this message, tirelessly advocating to government officials, medical institutions and communities across the nation. Prior to Maynard’s death, only four states legalized medical aid-in-dying programs. With the help of Diaz and others, legislation has been successfully passed in California; Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Hawaii.

Diaz continues to be a passionate advocate for the expansion of medical aid-in-dying programs with The Brittany Fund, an initiative of Compassion & Choices, the patients’ rights nonprofit. Come listen to Diaz share a powerful story of dying with dignity and the movement towards legalization.


Jessica Nutik Zitter, a critical care and palliative medicine doctor at Highland Hospital, wrote this Opinion piece featured in The New York Times. She focuses on medical aid for dying patients and the tough choices doctors face.


Dr. Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon who passed away from lung cancer in 2015, at 37 years old. Before he died, he wrote When Breath Becomes Air, a reflection on being a doctor with a terminal illness.

In an interview on NPR's Morning Edition, Paul's widow Dr. Lucy Kalanithi reads excerpts from When Breath Becomes Air and talks about her late husband's life. 


Re:Imagine End of Life is a citywide conversation about living and dying through art, experience, and design.

Learn more >

September 6, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Google Community Space | San Francisco, CA