End-of-life medical care is a sensitive issue that people are often too afraid to talk about until it’s too late.
Dr. Jessica Zitter joined Monday’s “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” to talk about why doctors and patients alike need to take a closer look at death vs. suffering. Sometimes patients’ suffering is prolonged through technology that essentially makes them die as slowly as possible – how can we have better conversations about options for palliative care?
“We feel like there’s got to be a fix, there’s got to be something that we can do to keep people alive,” Zitter said. “I see that all the time, and I think we’ve gotten to a point where we don’t really ask people whether or not they want us to use these life-prolonging approaches or attempted approaches on them.”
During her unique experience working in both the ICU and palliative care, Zitter became an advocate for dying patients, writing about prioritizing the patient’s wishes in her book, “Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.”
It’s vital for families to talk about care and the options they want so people are prepared when their loved ones are close to death. Sometimes family members try to make decisions for a patient that contradict or don’t factor in the wishes of the person.
“You can’t know when it’s going to be your time,” Zitter said.