Friday, November 30, 2007

Conversation with Dr. Ira Byock on End-of-Life Care (Video 7:19 mins.)

Dr. Ira Byock is Director of Palliative Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and a major advocate for improving end-of-life care. Past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, he is the author of several books, the most recent one being “The Four Things that Matter Most.”

This video conversation with Dr. Byock covers beneficial information for the healthcare profession and society in general regarding what should be done to improve the final chapter in our lives. His comments include the following:

1) Palliative care and how it differs from current medical practice
2) Personal preparation for the last chapter in life
3) Family preparations for one another’s end-of-life care

Dr. Byock explains that nationally we must face the inevitability of death and stop making prolonged life the main goal of mortal beings. He emphasizes the importance of addressing our emotional, social, and spiritual needs by deciding what our values are, considering what matters most, sharing with our families in whatever forms they exist, and putting our decisions in writing. April 16, which is National Healthcare Decision Day, and Thanksgiving Day are days selected to encourage end-of-life conversations; however, any day is a good day to discuss this crucial information.

You can view this video of Dr. Byock’s conversation about what we should be doing individually and nationally to improve end-of–life care.

Frances Shani Parker
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

1 comment:

  1. I just read your blog about the need for more information and understanding about palliative care and your conversation with Dr. Ira Byock.

    I wanted to let you know I am a documentary maker and hospice volunteer in Atlanta, Georgia.

    I've produced a short documentary about end-of-life decision making, palliative care, caregiving and hospice.

    It's called 203 Days.
    You can view it in its entirety at the following University of Connecticut website along with a study guide.

    It is an unflinching look at the day-to-day interactions between patient and caregiver, in this case an 89 year old woman who is living with her daughter.

    203 Days just won the First Place 2007 Film Award from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

    If you'd like more information please go to my website

    I hope this film is helpful to people who want to know more about some of the most common experiences for caregiver and patient at this difficult time.

    Bailey Barash