The cringe-inducing headlines of scandal and hyper partisan behavior greets us almost daily. Yet amid the conflict I'm encouraged about our work, designed to bring people together to solve problems, and the awareness and appreciation that surrounds it.
You have introduced the idea of having a family conversation, or a series of conversations, about end-of-life wishes and goals. Mom and Dad are on board, the adult children want to know more, and everyone is ready to take the next steps to ensure wishes are followed. Now what?
An end-of-life discussion is not a conversation likely to arise spontaneously on its own. Whether you are an aging parent or a concerned adult child, you must make the first move. Seize any opportunity to begin the conversation.
Sadly, informed consent and shared decision-making, the twin pillars of patient-centered health care, aren't the rock-solid structures we would hope for. That's the lesson of a new study in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.
It was my father, not I, who initiated the end-of-life "conversation" that would extend over more than two years. It began when he asked me to come over so we could review some "materials" he'd put together.
After the House passed the Democrat's health care bill, Republicans vowed to repeal the soon-to-be-law. my answer to them is, have at it. They couldn't be more wrong about what makes this country great.
The Elder Justice Act in the health reform bills would finally provide the increased federal resources and leadership to prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse.
As a doctor specializing in palliative care and hospice, I'm disheartened to see how end-of-life counseling was twisted into something sinister and untrue, then ultimately dropped because it was deemed too divisive.
So much has been said by those who claim to understand what "end of life care" means, and all of it has little if any root in truth. So, I will give you my personal experience with "end of life counseling."