Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's Your Vision of End of Life Care?


(Ed. - Today's post is the first from Renee Berry @rfberry at Pallimed who is a digital media specialist with a strong passion and extensive knowledge about hospice and pallaitive medicine. Renee and I co-host the weekly hospice and palliative medicine tweetchat on Wednesday nights (along with Alicia Bloom).  We are excited to have her input on the recent TEDMED conference where End of Life issues were featured. - Sinclair) 

I noticed an interesting conversation starting on Twitter last week about an illustration drawn as a part of TEDMED's great challenges. TEDMED is an annual conference dedicated to breakthrough thinking in health and medicine. While it is independent of the original TED conference which brings people together from the technology, education and design fields, TEDMED's Great Challenges Program is a series of discussions around twenty complex issues in medicine designed to engage interdisciplinary thinking and conversations.

Palliative care physician, Earl Quijada attended the TEDMED conference last week and shared a photo (which can be seen below) of a sketch about some of the concepts and ideas being shared at the Great Challenges section dedicated to end-of-life care issues. This sparked an interesting conversation about what the illustration portrayed.


My initial thoughts can summed up in this quick list of 8 tweets...









As more people become engaged and passionate about:

  1. Advancing opportunities for early access to palliative medicine to relieve suffering and enhance quality of life for serious illness. 
  2. Providing hospice and quality end of life care.
  3. Engaging the public around these related but not synonymous issues. 
I am hopeful that people, organizations and initiatives will utilize the incredible work that has allowed palliative medicine to become the fastest growing medical specialty in the United States and a crucial element to the future of quality and innovation in healthcare delivery.

Other Notes:

  • It's awesome (and appreciated!) that TEDMED is featuring a great challenge on end of life!
  • An artist of course has free range to express their interpretation of messaging and in all honesty, while I have concerns about elements of this particular drawing, I really appreciate it because it points out an opportunity for a great discussion.

What do you think?

I'm interested in seeing the palliative care community continue to add commentary below. What do you think of this drawing? What does it say about where we are with messaging about death? Where are we about public communications about palliative care? How can we serve as a resource to people that want to be a part of the solution and ensure advocates can access quality information?


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