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Prof. Bill Davis Authors Book on End-of-Life Decision-Making

Dr. Bill Davis, professor of philosophy at Covenant College, has authored a book entitled Departing in Peace: Biblical Decision-Making at the End of Life. Departing in Peace was published by P&R Publishing in October 2017.


Drawing from his 23-year experience as an advisor on hospital ethics committees, his time as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, and the recent death of his own father, Davis discusses the numerous difficulties and decisions faced by those with friends and loved ones nearing the end of their time on Earth.


“The likely audience for this book is pastors and elders who go to the hospital with families who are facing end-of-life decisions,” says Davis. “But the unofficial audience is people who are healthy, their own crises a long way away, so that they can think through these things on their own and be prepared when the time comes. One of the reasons this is so important is that the Bible allows us to make these decisions about ourselves. We are not obligated to suffer merely in order to live longer.”


Davis spent the spring of 2014 on a College-supported sabbatical, visiting hospice patients and reading relevant articles, in order to form the most complete picture of the issue, which he presents here.


In addition to in-depth analysis of the decision process, Departing in Peace features a chapter of step-by-step narratives based on real cases Davis handled over the years. Each situation is fleshed out in full first-person detail, with multiple options presented and explained to portray a realistic picture of the world.


“I wrote this chapter in a way that guides the reader step-by-step through each case until they are asked the same questions, and there are no stupid answers.” Davis explains. “There is an epilogue showing the real answers, which wouldn’t be possible without the reality.”


Purchase of Departing in Peace includes full lesson plans, outlines, and discussion questions for those interested in leading a study group though the book. The book is available now, through P&R Publishing, Amazon, and the Covenant College bookstore.


Bill Davis received a BA from Covenant College, an MA from Westminster Seminary California, and an MA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to serving on the faculty of Covenant College, he is an adjunct professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and an elder at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church.