Whitlock, Ione
4 Articles at Lifeissues.net


Five things you should know about palliative care

The promise of hospice palliative care was that it would provide comfort to the dying, ease symptoms, and help grieving loved ones. Modern palliative care promises to be something even more - from the relief from symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, to improving the quality of life for both the patient AND families. Palliative care promises to offer comfort, choice, and respects patient's values and wishes. It cares for not only the individual patient, but the whole family. That was the theory. The reality is that for some reason, it doesn't seem to be working that way.

Date posted: 2014-07-09

Hospice vs. Palliative Care vs. Patients and Families who Choose Life

The medical landscape has changed dramatically since the 1980s when palliative care was synonymous with hospice, when "the right to refuse treatment" was a greater concern than being discharged from the hospital too early, and when the government wasn't openly discussing national health care rationing schemes to fix the shortage problems caused by its endless centralized planning, redistribution, and the toxic effects of meddling with payment methods. In such a context, one is well-advised to be skeptical of a referral to palliative care.

Date posted: 2013-08-27

POLST: "Self-Determination" or Imposed Death?

I hear often from people who believe they or their aged/ill/disabled loved ones are being pressured into refusing treatment - usually not by being brow beaten or yelled at - but from a constant, drip, drip, drip of conversation after conversation after conversation, which only end when the patient agrees to what the doctor or ethics committee want. In this phenomenon of the never-ending-conversation, people often perceive an attempt to wear them down by sheer exhaustion into acquiescing. Smith's "drip, drip, drip" sums up the POLST process rather well.

Date posted: 2012-01-19

The Current Health Care "Reform" Legislation:

In Progressive politics, Death frequently comes in packages labeled "Life." And so it is with legislation such as that which is now before the Senate. Think you are supporting pain relief and hospice legislation in order to prevent assisted suicides? Wrong. Thanks to Big Death - a collection of heavily funded non-profit hospice and palliative care groups1 - the line between palliative care (pain relief; symptom management) and imposed death has become blurred. One Big Death "thought leader" who has helped create the confusion between life-affirming palliative care and imposed death is Ira Byock, Dartmouth physician and hospice guru.

Date posted: 2010-03-11