Know Your Wishes



Last Wish Press Release: February 27, 2013

Coalition to Transform Advance Care (C-TAC) features Last Wish story to help kick off 1st Annual Summit in Washington DC

Video recounts the true story from Philadelphia author physician Lauren Van Scoy’s book Last Wish – Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing

Philadelphia, February 27, 2013: A video production depicting one of the stories in Philadelphia author Dr. Lauren Van Scoy’s book, Last Wish – Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing, helped kick-off the 1st Annual Summit for the Coalition to Transform Advance Care (C-TAC) on January 29 & 30th in Washington, DC. Four hundred leaders from across the Advanced Illness Care and End-of-Life Planning professions came together for two days of discussion and planning to transform our cultural avoidance into something meaningful for all Americans.

Speakers and moderators included US Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Assistant Secretary of Aging and Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Greenlee and over 50 leading medical and healthcare providers from all over the country.

“A Biker’s Heart”, which was written and produced by Dr. Van Scoy, created a dramatic introduction at the Summit as North Wales resident Bill and his wife Nancy recounted their riveting and emotional 13-month journey that defied all odds for his survival and resulted in his receiving a heart transplant.  The video can be viewed at the Last Wish website,

Through riveting narratives, Dr. Van Scoy’s book Last Wish – Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing describes the true dramas of six people facing mortality and how the caregivers, families and medical professionals are affected. It compels readers to discuss the importance of knowing when to pursue aggressive therapies and when it is reasonable to stop and allow natural death. It is a topic that no one escapes and is now becoming a driving force in advanced care and end-of-life planning.

Last Wish reads like a medical thriller yet speaks to the soul allowing a wide diversity in its application beyond textbook approaches to the topic.

• Health care educators are positioning LAST WISH in their curriculums

• Medical providers are reading LAST WISH for both business and pleasure and find it to be a thought provoking and fresh perspective in a somewhat jaded medical society

• Hospice agencies are using LAST WISH as a training tool for their hospice clinicians

• Social media has embraced LAST WISH’s message attracting wide interest

• Lay people are reading LAST WISH and learning how best to prepare

Last Wish and Dr. Van Scoy are continuing to garner endorsements and as national awareness for end-of-life planning and advanced illness care issues increases dramatically.  Most recently, Last Wish was endorsed by Paul Malley, President of Aging with Dignity and creator of the nationally acclaimed advanced directive “Five Wishes.” “Dr. Van Scoy brings professional insight and a gentle manner to families coping with serious illness and death.  Her real-life stories are wake-up calls to all those who have yet to even begin thinking about making a plan for dignified end-of-life care,” Malley says.

Daniel Perry, President and CEO of Washington DC based Alliance for Aging Research also supports Last Wish. “To be a professional advocate for research for healthier and more vital aging does not mean one favors life extension at any cost.  I read Dr. Van Scoy’s engrossing book on a cross-country flight to visit my 94-year-old mother, quite possibly for the last time.  Therefore, the end-of-life issues that are so wisely and humanly considered in Last Wish were very much on my mind.  The stories told in these pages, together with the resources and web-based supports offered at the end, are highly recommended for all who will likely face these choices for a loved one, and inevitably someday for ourselves.”

Last Wish continues to grow as an educational resource and its website, was recently listed in the Association of Amercian Medical Colleges (AAMC) MedEdPortal iCollaborative as an innovative and valuable resource for medical education

Last Wish was the topic of a segment on nationally respected talk show host Michael Smerconish’s radio show originating in Philadelphia. The book was also the focus of news anchor, author and TV host Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason discussion show on Comcast Network. Kane wrote “…Dr. Van Scoy’s book is a must-read for all thoughtful adults. The book reads like a best seller, but its honesty about the final decision of a lifetime is a mosaic of emotion that shocks you, enlightens you, and in poignant and memorable true stories, ultimately sets you free.”

Published by Transmedia Books, Inc., Last Wish features a foreword by Alexandra Drane, 2012 TEDMED speaker and award winning co-founder of Engage with Grace, a movement to honor end-of-life wishes. Last Wish also features additional resources including the highly acclaimed Compass Discussion Guide, a tool used to clarify a person’s opinions regarding end-of-life care and planning. 

Dr. Van Scoy attended medical school and residency at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia where she also served as Chief Medical Resident. Continuing her career at Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital, she is currently in fellowship training and is a Chief Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellow.

For sales, booking and media inquiries contact:

Michael Pitkow,

Publicist for Last Wish: Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing

Pitkow Associates, Marketing and Media Services, Perkasie, PA 18944

215.249.8157   •    215.534.0794 (mobile)

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