I’m a physician in an ICU and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished families had spoken about end of life, before the actual end of life. It’s painful that many times loved ones are kept alive with no hope of returning to a meaningful quality of life, while families fight over what “mom” or “dad” would have wanted. Clinicians do the best they can (some admittedly, better than others) to ride the emotional roller coasters with families, but it’s difficult to ignore the often needless suffering of their loved ones. The message you are delivering is critically important and I wholeheartedly applaud your efforts. I’d be happy to lend my support on the clinical side of things to answer any questions or serve as a resource as you see fit. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.
-Richard DO, 12/10/2008