Friday, September 19, 2008


A video game gets a big 'X' from Australia after it is cited for portraying real world drugs (namely morphine) as a power booster for your character. In Fallout 3, if your character takes morphine they become stronger. (I guess because they are immune from pain?) Now if that were the effect that we had to constantly educate about, I do no think there would be such strong refusals of morphine. "Here take the morphine, it will make you stronger."

The video company eventually changed the name of morphine in the game to Med-X. Now because of this change, and this change only, the game will get a 15+ rating instead of a 18+ rating. The report had nothing to say about the depiction of hyper-real violence or use of crack pipes as 'boosters' in the game. And a number of other video games have also featured morphine.

Hospice of Michigan produced a documentary called "Except for Six" to help the local community start having conversations about end-of-life issues. Grand Rapids Press has a great article about the creation of the film. The trailer makes the film look like a good one to represent hospice. They are to be commended for a actually producing this film, which took a lot of forethought, financial support and dedication. Maybe it will be shown at some of our field's national meetings? Nudge, nudge.


Thanks US News & World Report for a wonderful headline about the recent Archives of Internal Medicine article: Palliative Care Programs Could Boost Hospitals' Bottom Line. Not exactly the best advertisement for our field. Such a trust breaker. Feel free to add a better headline in the comments. Here is one I thought of off the top of my head: Hospitals Optimize Resources with Palliative Care.

A nursing assistant for a hospice care facility in South Carolina stole over $10,000 from a 97 year old patient under her care. When people abuse trust like this it can have a much wider impact than just the individual victim. When hospice works well as a team, it is a true benefit because behavior like this can be that much easier to catch.

I have seen some creative hospice fund raisers, but this one spins my bottle! Police took confiscated liquor and resold it at a benefit from hospice. My favorite part is that they are planning to do this for each of the seasons. Anyone want to offer some better headlines for this one?

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