Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Letting Go" - Recommended New Yorker Article By Dr. Gawande On Hospice Medical Care For Terminal Patients

[Photo from New Yorker article]
One of my favorite writers for the New Yorker magazine is Dr. Atul Gawande, a practicing physician and surgeon in Boston. He recently wrote a 15-page article in the New Yorker titled "Letting Go: What Should Medicine Do When It Can't Save Your Life?" which focuses on the use and application of hospice care in terminal patients regardless of disease and/or condition.

How do you deal with patients and families who have been hit with news of a terminal illness? How do you react as treatment choices are made or when non-treatment is chosen? How should hospice/palliative care be defined? Who should pay for it? Why doesn't insurance or Medicare pay for doctors to have extensive conversations with the family about the options and whether "fighting death" at all costs for a month or longer is worth it and how it could affect the quality of life in those last months.

It is an excellent article both for health care professionals and patients,

Hospice medical care for dying patients: newyorker.com

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq., a California health care law attorney.  Her email address is tgreen@greenassoc.com and her telephone number is 213-233-2260. 


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