Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Living Well Interview

The Living Well Interview: "'When a person faces a fatal disease that is likely incurable, he or she faces specific decisions not only about medical treatment but also about broader, existential issues concerning the best way in which to spend his or her remaining time.' Doctor-patient discussions about end-of-life treatment are often framed as a choice between 'medical treatment vs. treatment withdrawal.' When framed in this manner, treatment withdrawal is a negative choice that often implies giving up, abandonment, not giving the doctor a chance to do his or her job, and not caring; this option would seem to be no option at all. Bernard Hammes, PhD, suggests that the physician can reframe the doctor-patient dialogue about end-of-life treatment by starting a conversation with the patient focused on the question 'How can we help you live well?' The goal of the living well interview is to elicit the patient's perspective regarding how they want to spend their remaining time. Treatment decisions are then discussed within this broader context of patient goals and hopes. Treatments become tools for achieving patient goals."
Even though we cannot cure all our patients, we can provide all of them with loving care - and this is just as valuable !

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