Farr Curlin, MD, Professor of Medicine in DGIM and Palliative Medicine Specialist, recently traveled to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, to give a talk on his experience with end of life care. His presentation was entitled, "In support of dying well: Good medicine for those with advanced illness at the end of life."
Dr. Curlin talked about the challenge of caring well for patients who are dying, while sustaining the ethical commitments that have guided medicine for many centuries. He argued that even palliative medicine, in focusing on symptoms, should do so within an orientation to the patient’s health, not an open-ended effort to maximize quality of life and minimize suffering. The problem with the latter, he suggested, is that it involves physicians in actions that disregard or even directly diminish the patient’s health, and thereby undermining the trust patients need to receive palliation when they are dying.
Learn more about Dr. Curlin in the short video below: