Gerontology Speaker at Ithaca College to Discuss End-of-Life Decision Making

ITHACA, NY — Holly Prigerson, director of the Center for Research on End of Life Care at Weill Cornell Medical College, will present “On Being Mortal: The Human Hand in How We Die” at Ithaca College on Monday, Feb. 16. Free and open to the public, her talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Emerson Suites, Phillips Hall.

Prigerson will highlight the factors affecting end-of-life decision making and provide suggestions on how to improve the quality of care. Her presentation is based on findings from the Coping with Cancer study, which followed 386 adult patients with metastatic cancers in eight outpatient cancer clinics across the United States.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Mental Health, the study suggests that terminal cancer patients who receive chemotherapy in the last months of their lives are less likely to die where they want and are more likely to undergo invasive medical procedures than those who do not receive chemotherapy.

Prigerson serves as the Irving Sherwood Wright Professor in Geriatrics and a professor of sociology in medicine at Cornell Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research focuses on psychosocial and behavioral influences on late-stage patient and caregiver quality of life, end-of-life care, and bereavement adjustment by surviving caregivers. She has been the senior author on several landmark studies in spirituality and health.

Her talk is sponsored by the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute Distinguished Speaker Series, in partnership with the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center. For more information, contact Teri Reinemann, outreach program coordinator for the Gerontology Institute, at (607) 274-1607 or

Holly Prigerson will present “On Being Mortal: The Human Hand in How We Die” at Ithaca College on Monday, Feb. 16.