Tag Archive for ‘end-of-life surgery’

Primary palliative care

Practicing primary palliative care: A call to action

The surgical patient populations with unmet palliative care needs are identified and the validity of training clinicians in providing this care, particularly as part of an interdisciplinary team, is described.

The Joint Commission

Examining rapid response system treatments in the elderly patient population

This month’s column addresses the benefits of effectively using rapid response system calls for elderly patients who suffer from chronic illnesses.

Surgical futility and patient-centered care: The effects of human nature in decision making

The need for surgeons to competently communicate of the quality-of-life benefits of nonsurgical and palliative care to patients and families is the focus of this article.

Letters to the Editor

The following comments were received regarding recent articles published in the Bulletin.

RAS Issues Symposium: Surgery at the end of life: For love or money?

To operate, or not to operate—that is the question. Data show that in 2008, among Medicare beneficiaries in the final year of life, nearly one in three underwent a surgical procedure. Nearly one in five had surgery in the last month of life, and nearly one in 10 had surgery in the last week of life. Why do we operate on these patients? Does the availability of hospital beds influence surgeons to operate more frequently? Perhaps—but the reasons surgeons operate are more complicated than these data would suggest.

Surgery at the end of life: For love or money?

A total of 18 percent of Medicare beneficiaries undergo a major operation in the last four weeks before their death. The discussion regarding risks and benefits of operative interventions in an end-of-life situation can be emotionally charged and ethically complex.


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