Today I met with some CaSfA members. Among other topics, we did discuss end of life issues. The conversation reminded me of an episode of Frontline I recently watched, “Being Mortal”, on PBS. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/being-mortal/). Although it was very emotional, I highly recommend watching the program.
According to PBS’ website,
“The United States has a problem when it comes to conversations around death and dying, says Dr. Atul Gawande. Patients with life-threatening illnesses tend to focus on how to beat the steep odds against them, he says, without hearing from their doctors about how certain kinds of treatment might actually worsen their remaining time alive. It’s understandable, says Gawande, but ‘hope is not a plan.’”
“For Gawande, a New Yorker writer and a renowned surgeon at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, too many questions are going unasked. Questions like: What are your priorities if your time is limited? What are your goals for treatment? What are your fears? And what trade-offs are you willing to accept as a result of your care?”