FJ4 – Palliative Care, Hospice, and Pain Control – The Final Journey with Dr. Stephen Doran M.D. – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts

Episode 4 – Palliative Care, Hospice, and Pain Control – The Final Journey with Dr. Stephen Doran, M.D.

In this thoughtful episode of the Discerning Hearts Podcast, Dr. Stephen Doran joins Kris McGregor to discuss the complex and often emotional journey of end-of-life care. Covering topics from palliative care to the difficult decisions surrounding hospice and pain control, Dr. Doran brings a compassionate perspective to these challenging situations.

The conversation delves into the importance of preparing for end-of-life scenarios, emphasizing the need for thoughtful discussion and decision-making well in advance.  They discuss the principle of double effect in medical ethics, which allows for actions that have both good and bad effects, as long as the intention is to bring about the good effect.

Dr. Doran shares personal anecdotes and professional insights, highlighting the unique nature of each individual’s end-of-life journey and the role of hope and faith in these moments. This episode offers a blend of medical ethics, personal reflection, and spiritual guidance, aimed at helping listeners navigate the intricacies of end-of-life care with grace and understanding.

For more episodes in the series, visit The Final Journey: Insights from a Catholic Doctor and Neurosurgeon w/ Dr. Stephen Doran M.D.  – Discerning Hearts Podcasts.


Stephen Doran, M.D., a board-certified neurosurgeon with over twenty-five years of experience, is an ordained permanent deacon and serves as the bioethicist for the Archdiocese of Omaha. His writings in bioethics, neurosurgery, and gene therapy for brain disorders have been widely published in national media outlets, academic journals, and neurosurgery textbooks. He is married with five sons. He co-founded Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study with his wife, Sharon.

Discerning Hearts reflection questions for this episode:


You can find the book here

From the book description:

Dr. Stephen Doran draws from his vast experience as a neurosurgeon, a bioethicist, and a permanent deacon to present the Catholic perspective on the art of dying well. The spiritual and moral issues related to death and the process of dying can be challenging and complicated. To Die Well provides a detailed yet readily understandable guide to these topics.

Each chapter begins with a story from Dr. Doran’s personal or professional life that not only provides context for the topic at hand but also gently draws the reader toward the personal realities of dying. The first part focuses on the moral issues that surround death and dying, including end-of-life medical decisions. The second part is devoted to the Catholic spiritual understanding of dying and the rites that accompany the death of a Catholic.

To Die Well will help readers contemplate, pray about, and prepare for the end of their earthly lives.