Despite a culture clash and lack of time and training, ER doctors see how palliative care averts suffering for elderly patients with serious illnesses.
One terminally ill man’s hope to be disconnected from his respirator and donate his organs was almost thwarted, despite his best laid plans.
Guidelines recommend that hospitals have a physician, an advanced practice or registered nurse, a social worker and chaplain on the palliative care team, but only about 25 percent of hospitals meet that standard.
Residents with dementia need to be monitored and increased training is needed for staff who care for them, said researchers who examined reported instances of abuse in assisted living facilities.
Doctors who minister to seriously ill patients say the flurry of aid-in-dying laws show just how afraid people are of a painful death, and how important it is to ease their suffering.
A small study in the San Francisco Bay area suggests that various ethnicities share some of the same goals when it comes to end-of-life care. Often, though, they don’t get what they want.