Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The web has been quite bountiful with small tidbits that relate to palliative care and I wanted to share some of these interesting links.
- Stumbled across this photo that could be very misunderstood by people who are not familiar with completing death certificates. It is very easy to read this as "dying by the following means are unacceptable", but anyone who has filled out a death certificate knows the coroner/vital records wants a more definite cause, and these terms are interpreted to be vague. (Found via BoingBoing) There is a Fast Facts on "How to complete a death certificate" for a quick review.
- A lot of blogs seem to be discussing futility and health care ethics lately, so I wanted to point you to a few. Over My Med Body! (a blog) is doing a series titled "Health Care's Broke," and starts off with a very thoughtful and provocative post on End of Life Care. Pretty impressive insight from a medical student. (He also has a great expose on a fake medical school in California.) Bob Watcher, MD (UCSF) also chimes in with a post on a more paternalistic approach to DNR's in 'futile' medical situations.
- Anonymous blogger Swivelchair at Neurological Correlates cynically extrapolates reasons your family may 'pull the plug.' You will see we exchanged comments on his blog so I could further understand his take. The reference is a great article that we seemed to have missed here from the journal Chest on "Family Member Satisfaction with End Of Life Decision Making." It is now on our list to highlight in a later post.
- Luxembourg passed a euthanasia law in late February similar to the Netherlands and Belgium. Switzerland does not legalize euthanasia but permits physician-assisted suicide, as does Oregon in the US. The Oregon yearly report on the Death With Dignity Act (Physician Assisted Suicide/Death) should be released in the next couple of weeks. Pallimed will be posting an update on those statistics.
- Dr. Bruce Campbell (ENT @ Froedtert/MCW) reviews empathy and medical training from a recent Academic Medicine article titled, "Is There Hardening of the Heart During Medical School?"
- The UK gives a grant of 20M pounds for improving/maintaining pediatric palliative care services. That is like $40M US. Sounds like a windfall but it is really a band aid.
- A French village is forbidden to have any citizens die secondary to a grave site shortage. The Mayor stated:
"...all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish. Offenders will be severely punished." [emphasis mine]