Talking About Dying

Lost in all of the drivel that passed for debate in the public discussion about health care is a serious  discussion about end of life issues. Oh please, I’m not talking about the silly idea about “death panels”. Rather a serious discussion about how each of us handles end of life issues. In other words, how we will spend our last earthly days.  The discussion went off track when there was a proposal that the government would be willing to pay for patients to talk to their doctors about end of life issues. Which is too bad since end of life issues should never be swept under the carpet.

There’s an article in the Huffington Post on how to talk to your doctor about end of life issues. It is an excellent article whether you are facing a terminal diagnosis or not. Many of the suggestions in the article can apply to discussions that patients should have with doctors from the start. My favorite suggestions on her list are:

Make a list of everything you want to discuss with the doctor ahead of time — all your questions and concerns.

Take charge of the conversation. DO NOT let the dynamic be that of a one way conversation between a demi-god doctor and his or her patient. Doctors are neither gods nor magicians.

After having a mis-diagnosis almost kill me, I can attest to the fact that you do need to be in control of the conversation about your health. It is your health.

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Published in: on 09/05/2010 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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