Great article on how doctors' experiences with end of life impact their own decisions. Doctors have knowledge and awareness that few patients/families have, but they are still human. How Doctors Die - Showing Others the Way - NYTimes.com
So often in my work, the elderly are so ill and frail. It's important to see other sides of aging. Here, an elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year. Check out their impromptu performance. This makes me smile every time.
In palliative care, it's not just about fixing the problem. It's about giving the person a chance to tell their story and listening carefully to how the problem affects them personally. This vignette is VERY funny, and was probably designed to illustrate differences between men and women, but there are important lessons for us palliative care professionals here. Remember -- It's not about the nail.
Amanda Bennett: Hope or denial in the face of death Ms Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Exec Editor of Bloomberg News. She effectively conveys the role and importance of "hope" in the fight against a terminal illness. This is a important video for palliative care providers and patients.
This TedMED video is outstanding for two reasons. First, it's a refreshing look at the obesity / metabolic syndrome epidemic. More important for palliative medicine, it's a moving tribute on the importance of being compassionate without judgment. Kudos to Dr. Attia who brought me to tears at the end. Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem? | Video on TED.com
The Suicide Plan | FRONTLINE | PBS In hospice and palliative care we like to think that if we do our job well enough and manage symptoms and address emotional and spiritual issues, there should be no role for assisted suicide. Some would disagree and its' important to know what's going on out there. This Frontline documentary is an excellent introduction to the topic and by covering several personal stories sheds some needed light on an activity that often takes place in the shadows.
"It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying." Thanks to Thaddeus Pope (medicalfutility.b...) for finding this 1936 quote from Lord Horder. Lord Horder apparently made this remark in a speech before the House of Lords when it was considering a voluntary euthanasia bill in 1936. Political debates on end of life care did not begin with Terri Schiavo.
A Renewed Push for End-of-Life Discussions Do you think it's really possible that our congress might be able to discuss the importance of discussing goals and wishes at end of life without degenerating into accusations of "death panels?" Kudos to Representative Blumenauer for making another attempt.
Those working with people at end of life can't help but to learn some lessons along the way. Kathleen Taylor articulately expresses her lessons in this TEDx video. She stresses the importance of discovering our authentic selves and asks if it's possible to do this before our bodies are failing. Rethinking the Bucket List: Kathleen Taylor at TEDxTampaBay