For home care, we don’t have the capability to sustain life with high technical medical equipment for long periods of time. But in the palliative setting, there are many benefits provided, in this case by Medicare, that patients can use, he said. These are worth investigating.
Explore This IssueMay 2006
Another factor many doctors don’t consider is the use of hospital chaplains on their end-of-life care team. They are very important members of the palliative care team and often help answer the more personal and philosophical questions about dying. They really support the role of the physician and help with family grief management, Russell said.
An Important Reminder
Gady El-Har, MD, who attended the conference, told ENToday he found the presentation of interest. He is Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY.
It’s a very important issue for us, for people who treat head and neck cancer. We’re very well trained at taking care of people, but I’m not sure we’re very well trained in giving up-that is, in deciding when to give up-and what we do with the patient. We have nothing to offer to them, he said.
Talks such as this one are key in helping remind doctors that more things can be done to help patients before they die. Hopefully we will know what to do with these patients. How to help them to end their life in a dignified, reasonable way, Dr. El-Har said.
©2006 The Triological Society