print this page | email this page

Posted by: Barbara Goldschmidt
Date: Sep/01/2014
Tags: end of life care

End of Life Care Conversations

The end of life is a fragile time, for as a friend once said, "No creature wants to die." More than ever we need to be sensitive to the subtle--often wordless--ways of communicating with someone who may be dying. When family and friends share this intense, yet inevitable, phase of life they are often desperate for honest conversations with experienced professionals who can act as guides.

Fortunately, our medical system recognizes this need and now encourages such discussion, according to a front page report in The New York Times on Sunday, August 31. Despite controversy and confusion, private insurers are reimbursing health care professionals for time spent on "advance care planning". Medicare may soon do the same. Hopefully, this will lead to end of life care that will offer a wider a range of options, including more palliative services, an integrative team, and cultivation of an environment that supports transcendance.