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Knowing How Doctors Die Can Change End-Of-Life Discussions

(originally published by NPR on JULY 06, 2015) Dr. Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky recalls the anguish she felt performing CPR on elderly, terminally ill patients. It looks nothing like what we see on TV. In real life, ribs often break and few survive the ordeal. “I felt like I was beating up people at the end of their life,” she says. “I would be doing the CPR with tears coming down sometimes, and …Read More

Wisconsin is learning how to die

La Crosse is a small town in western Wisconsin, right on the Minnesota border. It has about 51,000 residents. And La Crosse has, over the past three decades, done something remarkable: nearly all its residents have a plan for how they want to die. “One of our doctors recently told me that making a plan is just like taking blood pressure or doing allergy tests,” says Bud Hammes, a medical …Read More

Australian Professor Talks About ACP

Associate Professor Charlie Corke, an Intensive Care Specialist in an Australian hospital speaks from a physicians perspective on the importance of advance care planning. He points out that talking to loved ones, family and medical professionals increases the likelihood that a patients wishes will be honored for near end -of-life care. 

Making Certain Your Wishes are Known to Family and Physicians

Often wishes for end-of-life care are diligently written down, providing very specific details about an individuals preferences for care should they be incapable of stating those wishes. Many times these documents are then placed in a safe or tucked away for ‘when that times comes’. However, just having a document is never enough. Read about what happened to one family…

CEO at Pullman Regional Hospital Supports Advance Care Planning Efforts

Pullman Regional Hospital, located in Pullman Washington, has been diligently working on improving end-of-life care through integration of numerous initiatives over the past few years. They have also been excellent partners with the Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest program. Recently, the hospital CEO Scott Adams, posted a blog that provides insight into their commitment to advance care planning and education in their community. Watch the Video to learn more…

What really matters? Chocolate Cake

Often health care professionals focus on a ‘checklist’ of questions to identify the underlying reasons for a persons physical, mental or emotional health. This may not always get to the answers that matter most to individuals.  Read more about this personal account from a medical student based on finding out what really matters…and why. Click to read article…

Medical Students Exposed to Hospice End-of-Life Care

One of the repeated themes over the past year has been the lack of knowledge, comfort and communication skills that physicians and health care professionals face with their patients at end of life. The University of New England is doing something about this by immersing medical students into hospice and palliative care programs.  According to the article, “…the pilot Hospice Immersion Project provided unique exposure to end-of-life care in a …Read More

Atul Gawande on Frontline – February 10th, 2015

February 10th on FRONTLINE: Watch this trailer with renowned author and surgeon, Atul Gawande on his experiences that prompted his book, Being Mortal. Mark your calendar for February 10th to watch how “…the film explores how the medical profession can better help people navigate the final chapters of their lives with confidence, direction and purpose.”

Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”

A surgeon, a professor at Harvard, and a staff writer for The New Yorker, Dr. Atul Gawande published a new book called “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” Watch this October 2014 interview with Gawande on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. He discusses his own personal journey with his father as he faced cancer. The interview also touches on how people should be thinking and talking about what’s important …Read More