KALW | Local Public Radio San Francisco:
Having tough end-of-life conversations — before it's too late

I thought my family had all the pieces in place, until the crisis happened and that’s when I realized how woefully unprepared we were. My 91 year old father had fallen in the early morning hours and was unable to get up from the bathroom floor.


The New York Times:
Writing a ‘Last Letter’ When You’re Healthy

Over the last 15 years, as a geriatrics and palliative care doctor, I have had candid conversations with countless patients near the end of their lives. The most common emotion they express is regret: regret that they never took the time to mend broken friendships and relationships; regret that they never told their friends and family how much they care; regret that they are going to be remembered by their children as hypercritical mothers or exacting, authoritarian fathers.


REUTERS Health:
Doctors get less aggressive care before death

Doctors tend to get less aggressive care before death than the average person, a new study finds. The question of what kind of care doctors themselves would receive is often on patients' and families' minds, the researchers say.


CANMUA:
Doctors opt for less care on their own deathbeds: study

... Periyakoil, who was not involved with the new study, said her own research shows that about 99 percent of doctors report barriers in discussing end-of-life care with their patients.


Vietnam Breaking News:
Doctors get less aggressive care before death

... Doctors were more likely, however, to receive hospice care and to use less costly care before death, but those findings may be due to chance. “Doctors understand (that) modern medicine can both help and harm people, especially at the end of life, and they understand its limits,” said Weissman.


YOUR HEALTH® Radio:
Veterans and Palliative Care with Dr. VJ Periyakoil

This weekend on YOUR HEALTH® Radio Dr. Adam Goldstaein & Dr. Cristy Page are talking with Dr. VJ Periyakoil, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University about Veterans and Palliative Care.


New York Times Opinionator:
Pitfalls for Proxies

Of the many factors that affect the experience of dying, the one that patients and families often have the greatest control over is making decisions that are in the patient’s best interest. I recently participated in research on barriers to quality end-of-life care as part of a study released today in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.


The Washington Post:
The silver tsunami is actually silver-brown. How does end-of-life care differ for minorities?

Due to unprecedented advances in medicine, Americans are living longer — but we’re not necessarily living better. Currently, 45 percent of Americans have at least one chronic illness and 70 percent will eventually die from one. Heart disease, cancer or stroke in particular will claim 1 in 2 lives.


San Jose Mecury News:
Palliative care in California: Improving, but not everywhere

California's system for handling serious and end-of-life care is improving, but more services are needed to meet patient demand, according to two major reports released on Thursday. A growing number of the state's hospitals -- especially in the Bay Area -- are offering palliative care to comfort patients living with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and dementia, protecting them from futile, often painful medical treatments, the reports say.


SCOPE by Stanford Medicine:
Stanford Letter Project, which helps users have end-of-life discussions, now available for mobile devices

For many of us, the topic of how we want to spend our final days rarely comes up in discussions with our family members or doctors. And a big reason why is that we think of reflecting on how we want to die as highly emotional and unpleasant.


New York Times Opinionator:
We Need a Role Reversal in the Conversation on Dying

In most doctor-patient conversations, the doctor leads the way. But when it comes to planning for the end of life, we need a role reversal. The patient — you — may have to take the lead in conducting end-of-life conversations.


CNN:
How doctors want to die is different than most people

Dr. Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky recalls the anguish she used to feel performing CPR on elderly, terminally ill patients. "I felt like I was beating up people at the end of their life," she says.


Stanford Medicine News Center:
How would you like to die? A conversation with Stanford's VJ Periyakoil

How would you like to die? Asking patients that question is not easy for most doctors. In fact, most of us – doctors and patients alike – prefer to avoid the topic completely. VJ Periyakoil, MD, director of Stanford’s Palliative Care Education and Training, says this needs to change.


NPR:
Knowing How Doctors Die Can Change End-Of-Life Discussions

Dr. Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky recalls the anguish she felt performing CPR on elderly, terminally ill patients. It looks nothing like what we see on TV. In real life, ribs often break and few survive the ordeal.


Health News from NPR:
Doctors Say They Would Shun Aggressive Treatment When Near Death

Everybody dies.

But when doctors' time is up, they are different from the rest of us. They "go gently" rather than opt for aggressive end-of-life treatments,


KQED News:
Ethnic Differences Thwart End-of-Life Conversations

Virtually all doctors have difficulty talking to their patients about death, and those conversations are even harder when the patient’s ethnicity is different from the doctor’s, according to a study published Wednesday in the online journal Plos One.


The Washington Post:
Ethnicity complicates patient-doctor discussion of death

Talking about death is never easy, even for medical professionals. But a new study has found that difficulty discussing end-of-life medical treatments is complicated further when there are ethnic differences that can create subtle barriers between the doctor and patient.


Medical Express:
Patient-doctor ethnic differences thwart end-of-life conversations

Most doctors balk at talking with seriously ill patients about what's important to them in their final days, especially if the patient's ethnicity is different than their own, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.


Pacific Standard:
Death and Dying, Lost in Translation

Language barriers top the list of challenges doctors face with end-of-life conversations with patients from different ethnic backgrounds.


Inside Stanford Medicine:
Patient-doctor ethnic differences thwart conversations on end-of-life care, study finds

Doctors struggle to start discussions with ailing patients about how they want to spend their last days, a survey finds. The upshot? Patients should bring up the topic themselves.


SCOPE by Stanford Medicine:
How would you like to die? Tell your doctor in a letter

Asking patients how they would like to die is not a question that comes easy to most doctors.


The California Report by KQED:
Ethnic Differences Thwart End-of-Life Conversations

Virtually all doctors have difficulty talking to their patients about death, and those conversations are even harder when the patient’s ethnicity is different from the doctor’s, according to a study published Wednesday in the online journal Plos One.


EurekAlert! by American Association for the Advancement of Science:
Patient-doctor ethnic differences thwart end-of-life conversations

Most doctors balk at talking with seriously ill patients about what's important to them in their final days, especially if the patient's ethnicity is different than their own, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.


Medical Daily:
Patients Must Begin End-Of-Life Care Conversations Because Doctors Often Fail To Communicate

Most doctors hesitate to begin a serious conversation with their deathly ill patients about what the final days will look like, say researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine. The new study, which surveyed medical residents during their final year of training, finds this to be especially true when a patient’s ethnicity is different than a doctor’s own.


Association of Health Care Journalists:
Why is it so hard to discuss end-of life-care? #ahcj15

A provocative examination of end-of-life care brought this question into sharp focus for journalists attending Health Journalism 2015. Paul Kleyman, who moderated a panel on the topic, noted that essential end-of-life elements first reported on 30 years ago – such as affordability and death with dignity – are still relevant and have intensified.


National Continuing Care Residents Association (NACCRA) March/April 2015:
How Doctors Die (It’s not like the rest of us)

Study reveals disparity between how doctors choose to die and how they treat dying patients. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 doctors, 88 percent said they’d choose a “no code” or do-not- resuscitate order for themselves if the risks and burdens of treatment outweighed the expected benefits


Aftering:
Death and Dying, Lost in Translation

Language barriers top the list of challenges doctors face with end-of-life conversations with patients from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s never easy for doctors to talk to their patients about death, but it’s especially hard when they don’t speak the same language. In fact, language differences top the list of barriers doctors encounter when discussing end-of-life issues with patients, according to a study published today in the journal PLoS One.


Fierce Practice Management:
Cultural differences create bigger end-of-life challenges

While patient-physician discussions about end-of-life (EOL) care are notoriously difficult, barriers to effective planning is that much harder for patients with diverse ethnicities, according to research from Stanford University School of Medicine published in PLOS ONE.


Neurology Update powered by 6 minutes:
Cultural differences thwart end-of-life conversations

Almost all doctors dealing with dying patients report difficulties with end-of-life conversations, but the problem is exacerbated when the patient is of a different...


New America Media:
Why Multiethnic Doctors Struggle With Patients’ End-of-Life Care

A provocative examination of end-of-life care brought this question into sharp focus for journalists attending the recent Health Journalism 2015 conference here. Paul Kleyman, who moderated a panel on the topic, noted that essential end-of-life elements first reported on 30 years ago – such as affordability and death with dignity – are still relevant and have intensified.