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by Angelo E. Volandes
Harvard Medical School researcher Volandes, founder of Advance Care Planning Decisions, draws the curtain aside to reveal the painful realities of dying in a hospital setting … Volandes explores the options open to patients and their families. Taking examples from his experiences as a physician, he describes how his perspective changed over time and how he has been able to help families make tough end-of-life decisions ... It is necessary to have an open conversation in advance regarding the alternatives — e.g., painful medical intervention to extend life or palliative treatment to ease a patient's last moments … Volandes describes how he prepared patients and their proxies for the kinds of decisions they would face as they sought an optimal balance between prolonging life and palliative care. In many cases, he would take them to intensive care units to witness end-of-life treatment … A compassionate and informative treatment of a painful subject.
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