Dr. Spiess has spent his medical career with people facing serious illness and death, first as an oncologist, then as a hospice physician. He has lectured extensively and has been recognized as a leader in the field of end-of-life care.
He has observed, through extensive clinical experience and innumerable conversations with the dying and those caring for and about them, the burden of unnecessary or avoidable suffering and distress engendered by the American tendency to avoid facing death as an inevitable personal reality.
His medical practice and writing are informed by his interest in philosophy and theology, and he finds additional insights in depictions of dying in literature, including sacred texts, music, and popular culture. His writing provides information and inspiration, challenging readers to honestly encounter their own mortality to both die better and live more fully.