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The I.C.U is Not a Pause Button – NYTimes Opinionator

By KRISTEN MCCONNELL AUGUST 26, 2015 With my elderly stroke patient’s back arched and his head tilted back, too many angles of his skeleton were on display. A nose covered in thin gray skin sliced the air like a shark fin, and beneath it his mouth hung open. He didn’t look like he was resting. Read the entire piece here.

Zen and the Art of Dying – NYTimes Opinionator

by Courtney E. Martin August 14, 2015 “For someone who is dying, the past can be too complicated to contemplate and the future is jarringly unknown. Focusing on the present, Zen Hospice Project believes, is where the potential for living most meaningfully — even while dying — exists.” Read the full piece here.

Medicare to Try a Blend of Hospice Care and Treatment – NYTimes

from The New York Times Most older Americans close to death have to make a difficult choice: continue with traditional medical treatment or switch to hospice care, which focuses not on a cure but on easing their remaining days. Now, Medicare is testing a third alternative: both. The new pilot program, designed to affect the care of about 150,000 Medicare patients over the next four years, will allow patients with …Read More

End-of-life counsel from doctors seen as lacking

Americans routinely tell researchers they don’t want to spend their final days tethered to machines in a hospital, preferring to die at home with less invasive treatments. But that rarely happens. Now, a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests the biggest reason for that disconnect appears to be the doctors who treat those patients. The physicians, the study suggests, have outsized influence in shaping how patients spend their final …Read More