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Episode 39: Compassion and Palliative Care with Dr. Diane Meier, MD

There is a conversation that we are not having in medicine – and that is related to our dying.  Oftentimes when this conversation does happen, it is often too late for palliative care to do some good, to relieve suffering, to improve quality of life, during the time that we have left.  And because this conversation doesn’t happen, or doesn’t occur early enough, death has become painful.  Death is inevitable, it is a universal process that we all will go through one day, as we are living organisms.  I believe that we have lost our way in the practice of medicine.  We have forgotten the very foundation of medical practice, which is to relieve human suffering.  We sacrifice our human connections in the practice of medicine because health care is first and foremost a business.  We continue to treat patients even if the effort is futile, and sometimes we even offer harmful treatment, in the name of prolonging life- when it can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually damaging to our patients.  Join us in this eye-opening conversation about palliative care, as it is a field that still represents ‘the good and humane’ in medical practice.  Dr. Diane Meier, MD  is the founder and was the longtime director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality health care in the U.S. for people living with a serious illness.  She has received numerous awards and was the 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka the MacArthur Genius Award).

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