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Latest Posts

When Your Significant Other Overrides Your Living Will

He knew she was angry with him.

“Whenever I come to see her, I reach out and take her hand, but she looks away.”

Husband and wife for well over 50 years, they had been through a lot.  They met in another country in another time, and to hear him tell it, it almost seemed fated that they’d end up together.  Since then, they’d moved many times, raised a family, supported each other through myriad illnesses.  They were growing old together.

Unfortunately, “growing old together” doesn’t always work out like we hope it will.  Diseases and illnesses ravage our bodies; dementia ravages our brains.  She’d long ago given up on their little garden in the backyard.  It was her favorite hobby, but she couldn’t manage it anymore. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at code blog - tales of a nurse*

Engage With Grace: Do You Have An End-Of-Life Care Plan?

Matthew Holt and Paul Levy have encouraged medical bloggers to join together around a common goal for Thanksgiving: to talk to our loved ones about end-of-life preferences. Now I know this may seem a bit morbid at first blush – but it is really important that each of us create a living will and durable power of attorney document. There’s no better time to discuss this than a holiday where we all get together with our families to enjoy one anothers’ company and our gratitude for what we have.

I used the Suze Orman site templates to create mine (I received a free CD Rom). It was really easy to do. Living Wills provide guidelines about your wishes for care in the event that you are unable to express your opinions. The Durable Power of Attorney document makes it clear whom you’d like to “call the shots” on your care if you’re unable to do so for yourself.

If you haven’t done so already, why not consider the following three steps over Thanksgiving?

1. Discuss the “Engage with Grace” slide with your loved ones.

2. Fill out living will and power of attorney documents at Suze’s site (or find another site online that has a good template that you can use to express your wishes).

3. Get those documents affirmed by a notary public and send a copy to your doctor to add them to your medical record.

Every person at every age needs to have an end-of-life care plan. Why not join with thousands of blog readers in settling this matter for yourself and your loved ones this Thanksgiving?

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

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I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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