Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Error in 'There's Nothing More We Can Do' - The New York Times

"“There’s nothing more we can do.”

These words are often spoken by a physician just before transitioning a patient to hospice and palliative care and are regrettably uttered only days, if not hours, before the person dies. These words leave no room for hope; they make a transition to comfort care a much-feared and often avoided final destination.

Yet here’s the reality: More can always be done. More important, patients know exactly the “more” that they want. The real question is: Why don’t we ask?

“If I had a magic wand, what is it you would wish for today?” This is a question I ask of my patients receiving hospice and palliative care.

No one has ever asked that I rid them of their disease. Rather, I have been met with immediate replies of “make my anxiety go away” or “let me travel to see my family” and “let me go home and sit in my garden.”"


The Error in 'There's Nothing More We Can Do' - The New York Times:

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