End of life is fraught with the stuff of life, and that can include tense relationships between spouses, parents and children, siblings who may disagree on a parent's care or may harbor years of rivalries and resentments. With skill and compassion, VNSNY Hospice counselors and clinicians help foster healing communication at life's end.
Palliative care, while a specialty, lies at the heart of what every health care provider does -- whether nurse, physician, social worker, chaplain or psychologist -- because no matter the dazzle of technologies that extends life, our core focus can and should remain: Cure sometimes, relieve often, comfort always.
As physicians, we know that the patients are suffering. We know that their chances of returning to the life they desire are nonexistent. We know that this is a difficult decision. Should we respect their right to self-determination and help them continue this difficult existence until they decide to stop?