My ICD presentation to a Hospice and Palliative Care Group

Last night I gave a twenty-minute presentation on ICDs to a group of hospice and palliative care professionals. It was a real honor to speak to such an enlightened and dedicated group of caregivers. These are people who really get it. I wasn’t restricted in what to say about ICDs. They kindly gave me plenty […]

Going gently…

…is how doctors die. Few essays written by doctors are more relevant to today’s crisis in end of life care than Dr Ken Murray’s now famous, Why Doctors Die Differently.  It made it to the WSJ today, thank goodness. It’s available for free in its original (and longer) form at Zocala Public Square. We discussed […]

When will Palliative Care and Hospice discussions be considered normal?

The patient greeted me with a smile that belied his horrible luck. He was my age, but looked far older. It was a slowly progressive neurological disorder that left his mind intact while his body stopped working. He was now imprisoned in a bed. Various family members fed him, changed his diaper, and freshened the […]

A simple phone call…

His wife said, “I couldn’t wake him from his nap.”  The coroner told her he died in his sleep without moving a muscle.  His family doctor told me that Parkinson’s had slowed him greatly in the past year. He was 81, and the day before, he had enjoyed the usual lunch with friends. His multi-lead […]