After decades working in intensive care units, the California-based physician is now focusing on making end of life care better for her patients – and millions of others.

In today’s medical culture, the dying are often put on what Zitter calls the “End of Life Conveyor Belt.”

It’s a concept she explores in her first book, Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of LifeExtreme Measures is due for release Feb. 21 and charts Zitter’s two-decade journey “in the trenches” through intensive care units across the country.

No matter where she has worked, Zitter has watched as some of the most vulnerable patients die intubated, catheterized and attached to machines. Many don’t even know they are fast approaching death, because they’re never explicitly told they are dying.

The result: millions of people suffering cold, painful deaths in hospitals instead of at home with their loved ones and with proper pain management.

Fortunately, when end-stage patients are told about their condition in clear, compassionate language by doctors, research shows that they are far more willing to opt for palliative medicine and make their end of life care wishes known.

The key: empowering patients with the truth. (…) Read Full Publication Here

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