Colleen Chierici, published an article entitled, “The Cost of Not Talking About Death to Dying Patients”. The Hill October 8, 2017
The author is a nurse. Most medical personnel have substantially more insight and knowledge than most of us about medicine, hospitals, treatment, and mortality. But she had trouble talking with her dying mother.
Her article is one of the best descriptions of a particular challenge for those of us who will be confronted with an incurable illness. It’s not the only challenge because there are many different kinds of medical situations which confront us. Here are a few of the elements addressed in this article
In retrospect, Colleen’s mother died a terrible death because no one (including the author!) talked with her about the fact that she was dying from cancer. Instead, they tried to treat her.
Many (but not all) doctors and nurses are either ill prepared or unwilling to “have the conversation”… or both.
She admits that it was difficult for her to raise the issue with her own mother. It’s not unusual, but it has consequences for both the patient and their family.
There is a need to go far beyond the dying patient featured in this opinion. Everyone needs to make their choices known. You can do this only if you (1)inform yourself, (2) reflect on what is most important to you, and (3) have deep conversations with those who are important to you… not just once, but frequently.
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