Extreme Measures


Extreme Measures charts Jessica Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another  — a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology.

Filled with the kinds of patient stories that make the most compelling medical narratives, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.


Here’s the reality.
We’re all going to die one day,
and it’s good to have
a little bit of say in how.



I’m an accidental activist.

I didn’t set out to change
the culture of medicine, my chosen
and beloved profession.

I just found I had no choice but to try.



Look inside

In essays for The New York Times and other publications, I question our current paradigm for managing patients at the end of life and explore other paths.



Get started

Here are some resources that I believe will be helpful to you on your journey.



Set in the intensive care unit of Oakland, California’s, Highland Hospital, this verité documentary by Academy Award-nominated director, Dan Krauss, follows Dr. Zitter and her team in their heart-wrenching work with patients nearing the end of life. The first original short documentary to be purchased by Netflix, this eye-opening film is a compassionate window onto a world that many of us will someday face.