August 26, 2016 – End of Life and Survivors


Anchor lead:  Good choices help the dying and those who survive them, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Loved ones of someone who has died feel better when both palliative care and hospice are called in than when someone dies in an ICU, a recent study found.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Nelson: Making good use of palliative care and hospice care for people with life-threatening cancers seem sensible, this if anything buttresses that. Even among the survivors of the family who helped them make decisions.   :13

Nelson says what’s needed is a change in the timeline.

Nelson: So that people are educated and begin themselves and in talking with their family to articulate goals of care and preferences of care. I think introducing palliative care specialists at the time of diagnosis at the beginning of care is more effective than waiting until the last few days of life to think about palliative care and then using a hospice.  I think that’s the challenge.  :21

Nelson notes that suffering is also reduced when palliative care is employed.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.