Doctor: We fail patients by not talking about advance planning

08/15/2013 | It's OK to Die blog

Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy writes about a case that illustrates the importance of talking about patients' wishes for end-of-life care, about preparing patients and their families when death may be at hand and about how care is still possible even when life-saving care is not. Williams-Murphy, as well as an oncologist and a pulmonologist all could have done more to help a woman dying of colon cancer and her family, she writes. Doctors should be "hell-bent on making sure that our dying patients are having 'good deaths,' with as much devotion as we give to 'saving' our patients and attempting to give them a 'good life,'" she writes.

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