Approaching End-of-life Conversations
“No further treatment is available.” Is there a sadder, more overwhelming statement a doctor can make to a patient?
In an article published in Life Matters Media, LMM President and co-founder Randi Belisomo provides empathetic and thoughtful advice to physicians on how to change the focus of a bedside conversation with a terminally-ill patient from despair to acceptance and even hope of a peaceful passing, with time to tie up loose ends, say goodbyes and establish legacies.
Her arguments for clarity and timeliness when discussing the end-of-life are refreshing in a society where one study found that 70% of cancer patients enrolled in a cancer treatment program did not understand that they had an incurable disease.
But the reality is that treatment is available in the form of palliative care. Not a cure, but a way to make the most of the time left.