Bioethics Blogs

Living the Best Life Possible: Doctor and Patient Conversations About Serious Illness and Mortality (Video)

This week, Public Radio International “The World,” WGBH, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health presented “Living the Best Life Possible: Doctor and Patient Conversations About Serious Illness and Mortality.”  The panel in this one hour video includes Atul Gawande and Susan Block.

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Many Americans may confront illnesses so serious that they are life threatening. These diagnoses may come with treatment attempts and hospital stays. What they may not include are honest and open conversations about the final stages of life. How might the patient want to live during these stages? What choices are most likely to bring a sense of peace and empowerment? How might family members be included in these discussions? A growing palliative care movement is encompassing these questions, bringing together doctors, patients and their families in a new and compassionate way. 

This Forum event examined this movement, taking a look at the Serious Illness Care Program system developed at Ariadne Labs, as well as the upcoming launch of a national collaborative to test the use of this program in multiple healthcare systems in the U.S. This event also reviewed issues within healthcare systems, including utilization of end-of-life services and the debate around the role of payment for value. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.