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The empowering potential of end-of-life care

January 25, 2016
  • By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

About the Author

photo of Beverly Merz

Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Beverly Merz is Executive Editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, a publication she helped start in 1993. Before coming to Harvard she was an Associate Editor of JAMA, Managing Editor with the Union of Concerned Scientists, … See Full Bio
View all posts by Beverly Merz


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February 20, 2016

In the midst of caring for my brother in law with my sister in their home. The palliative care team we have are absolutely amazing. It has made it possible to allow him to stay at home which is exactly what he wants.

We are so grateful for the team, I can not express enough the support they have been giving and how important it is have this in place.
We are in Australia and it is a free service.

January 31, 2016

Needed, and more.

kathy kastner (@KathyKastner)
January 30, 2016

Thanks for tackling this increasingly important topic. I’m a layperson in this end-of-life space, with a background in identifying gaps in patient-centered education. Now, I find myself addressing gaps in healthcare education and perception as relates to palliative and end of life issues. Conducting informal interviews with healthcare leadership teams – across interprofessional disciplines – the constant themes all related to communication: eg tensions around conflicting recommendations; misconceptions about palliative care=dying: nothing to be done; guilt about not ‘doing everything possible’ eg feeding tubes for those with dementia – despite evidence of harm. It’s a complex, nuanced area where healthcare professionals as well as the public needs support. Kathy Kastner

Patricia Wildgen
January 29, 2016

My husband has a glioblastoma tumor in his brain that is life threatening. He is at home now and we have a health care aide 24/7 which is costing us approximately $8,000 per month. I don’t know if it is considered palliative care or not. The name of the agency we are working through is Caring People Home Healthcare Agency in Forest Hills, NY. They will not submit any of their bills either to Medicare or private insurance. This is something that we must do. Is this how most healthcare agencies work? Can you help me in possibly finding an agency that might cost less?

Thank you,
Patricia Wildgen

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