Thursday, July 20, 2017
What is end of life or "palliative care" like? How can such care be improved?
Both of my parents died in my home 30 years apart. My father died at 65 in 1983 and my mother at 91 in 2011. Both experiences were interesting in the sense of the understanding or lack of understanding of family members and friends about what was happening. Health care professionals, in general, do a poor job in informing family because they don't want to take away "hope" of the family members even if it is false hope. While well meaning, this lack of explicitness leads to confusion, distrust, and conflict between family members and health care providers. The truth may hurt but it usually is better than false hope or denial of reality.