kinder, gentler death
need better education and patients need better care around end-of-life
issues. Fred Meyers has made it his job to provide both.
not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there
when it happens." - Woody Allen
pretty much sums up the national dichotomy on shuffling off this
mortal coil. Death is a squeamish subject, even for physicians.
But as we all eventually leave this world, isn't it worth the effort
to make the experience less painful, less scary, and more humane?
thinks so. As chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and director
of the West Coast Center for Palliative Education, he has devoted
his life to treating seriously ill patients. Taking care of the
dying goes with the territory.
care hasn't gotten a lot of attention from academic medical centers,
although that's changing," says Meyers, who has directed the
medical center's hospice program since 1986. "In general, physicians
have not done palliative care well. They reflect society's discomfort
with death. Death is somehow a failure."
of expertise is not merely the technical details of providing medical
care for the terminally ill. His goal is to train healthcare professionals
in improving end-of-life care and to initiate changes in the systems
and organizations that provide this care.
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In Translation |
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