Atul Gawande, acclaimed author and surgeon pitches some of life’s biggest questions to his readers; questions about our death and how we deal with it.
In his book, and later-developed documentary, Gawande explains what he learned about tough questions, tough decisions, and the various ways people manage fact, reality and fear in the face of death.
Encountering patients’ fear is not uncommon for clinical staff at our area’s local, community-owned Hospice of North Idaho. For 36-years, Hospice of North Idaho has been the areas trusted community Hospice. Last year nearly 4,500 people received Hospice care, palliative care, and grief and loss care from this local non-profit. Hospice’s approach is to help their patients realize what they most want in their end-of-life experience and to show them the many choices they have.
Hospice’s Community Palliative Care Nurse, Peggy Hodge, says, “It is easy for people to feel disempowered after receiving a life-limiting diagnosis, especially if they are not presented with a different perspective. Our philosophy is to provide compassionate care, giving as much information as we have to empower our patients to make decisions they are satisfied with.”
Fear often clouds-over the personal path to self-choice. The book and documentary “Being Mortal” provides examples of how to have the hard conversations as life draws to a close. Kelly Rey, Hospice of North Idaho Director of Social Services helps our community walk through that process. “We, as a society don’t really talk about our wishes for our death. We do have a choice to die with peace and dignity, without pain, regrets, or suffering.”
Explore your goals and empower your voice. Join the discussion with panelists Robert Ancker, MD: Kootenai Health Palliative Care Physician and Hospice of North Idaho Co-Medical Director; Cindy Reed, RN, CHPN Director of Hospice of North Idaho’s Schneidmiller House, and Executive Director Kim Ransier RN.