Resident Review  |   December 2018
Quality Over Quantity for End-of-Life Patients: What Is the Anesthesiologist’s Role?
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Education / CPD / Palliative Care / End-of-Life Care / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   December 2018
Quality Over Quantity for End-of-Life Patients: What Is the Anesthesiologist’s Role?
ASA Monitor 12 2018, Vol.82, 64-65.
ASA Monitor 12 2018, Vol.82, 64-65.
I have learned more about life by experiencing death than by living life itself. This has been my response to a frequent question that I get: “Why do you want to take care of end-of-life patients? Isn’t that depressing?”
From the moment I set foot in Sacred Heart Home, a small hospice home in Philadelphia (Figure 1) founded by famed novelist Nathanial Hawthorne’s daughter Rose Hawthorne, my life’s passion has focused on improving the quality of care for end-of-life patients and advocating for an increasing role of anesthesiologists in the care of these patients. This passion began with founding a student-led organization named Shooting Stars (Figure 2) at Saint Joseph’s University. The goal of the organization was simple: to fulfill the wishes of dying hospice patients, similar to the Make-A-Wish foundation, but instead with a focus on elderly patients. The experience was one of the most rewarding and influential of my life. I learned several lessons, the most significant of which was that quality of life is just as important – if not more important – than quantity of life in the final stages before death.
1 Comment
December 8, 2018
Margaret Earle
Private Anesthesia Practice
Thank you for adressing these issues.
This was a very well written and concise commentary. The daily frustration I experience with these issues has led to a feeling of burnout. I suspect there are other anesthesiologists who would agree. We are harming not only our patients and their families but ourselves by not addressing POLST and Advance Directives. Can we develop a tool kit and an ethical time out for our ASA 3 and 4 patients who qualify for hospice?
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