When Grief Gets Complicated

Dr. Jessica Zitter Psychology Today Linda was a friend of a friend. As a doctor who practices both critical and palliative care medicine, I am frequently invited into the lives of people I may not know by desperate loved ones. I never met Linda in person, only through an impressive email journal her husband John wrote during the ordeal of her [...]

2018-01-11T21:22:56+00:00January 11th, 2018|

Honesty Is The Best Policy

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Psychology Today The machines in my patient’s hospital room whirred away, compensating for her heart, lung, and kidney failure.  She had grown so dependent on the machines that when her husband eventually requested she be disconnected from them, she died within minutes. Her cancer was so advanced that it had infiltrated almost [...]

2017-10-23T21:55:28+00:00May 22nd, 2017|

Goals of Hair

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Psychology Today My friend’s mother was coming to the end of her grueling fight with breast cancer. As a palliative care physician in a local hospital, I had used my network to help arrange home hospice services for her in her final days. By then she had become so sick from the [...]

2017-10-23T21:41:51+00:00March 26th, 2017|

Word Soup

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Psychology Today As a critical care physician, I am often involved in the care of patients who are dying. And I am distressed by the frequency of cases involving profound suffering that, I believe, could have been avoided. In that vein, I want to lay out some steps that will empower you [...]

2017-10-23T21:55:44+00:00January 24th, 2017|

Death, the Family Killer

By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter Source: Psychology Today As an ICU doctor, I often care for patients who can no longer speak for themselves. Whether their illness came on gradually or occurred without warning, they lie in bed without a voice. Their family, if they have one, must take on the role of surrogate decision-makers. This is a [...]

2017-10-23T21:55:56+00:00October 13th, 2016|