Humanist Approaches to Care at the End of Life

The September issue addresses a number of common but rarely discussed challenges in the humanistic care of dying patients. The clinical cases emphasize the difficulty many clinicians have when it comes to communicating with patients and their families about goals of care at the end of life. One case examines the gaps in knowledge that lead a patient’s family to believe she is doing well when, in fact, she isn’t, and the care team knows she isn’t. Other articles consider misuse of CPR on patients for whom it has little or no benefit and the underuse of hospice services, especially among members of ethnic minority communities. Authors in this issue agree that physicians must recognize and attend to their patients’ emotional, psychological and spiritual suffering if they wish to help them “die well.”

Volume 8, Number 9: 555-638 Full Issue PDF