Friday, Apr. 11th 2014

Resources for Seriously Ill patients and their families

One of the hardest things we will all likely face is the challenge of dealing with the medical system at the end of life. It has become complicated in every way. The care is complex, the decisions are overwhelming and agonizing. There are usually multiple providers and physicians (not to mention family and friends) each with opinions and counsel. The reimbursement system for health care has been a mess America for a long time. Who understands it? We see patients and families struggle with these issues every day. I’m rereading “Horse and Buggy Doctor” written in 1938 by Arthur E. Hertzler a small town Kansas doctor. It’s about his medical practice in the first part of the 20th century. It makes me appreciate the good things we have and how fortunate we are to live in America at a time when so many things can be done to treat disease and injury. Nonetheless, finding the best care possible today is not an easy task. The “best care” is not always the most care! Books I often recommend are: Ira Byock’s “Dying Well” and Joanne Lynn, Joan Harrrold, and Janis Lynch Schuster’s ” Handbook for Mortals” All of these books are available on tablet. (even Hertzler’s!) They are not exactly beach vacation reads but I hope they serve as useful references when needed.

RLM  (4/30/2014)




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