NPR: The Diane Rehm Show
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 11:06 a.m.
|Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Rosie O'Beirne|
Making Better End-of-Life Care Decisions
Most Americans say they want to die at home, but few actually do. How movies made by two Harvard doctors can help patients make better end-of-life decisions.
Most Americans say they want to die at home, but 75 percent die in hospitals or nursing homes. Hospitalization often means aggressive, high-cost treatment at the expense of quality of life. And life-prolonging care accounts for 30 percent of total Medicare spending. Now, two Harvard doctors are making movies that visually depict common forms of end-of life care in hospitals. The short films show real patients receiving treatment such as emergency CPR and feeding tubes. Clinical studies show that patients who view these movies overwhelmingly opt out of costly, life-prolonging treatment. Diane and her guests discuss how to make better end-of-life decisions.
Angelo Volandes - physician and researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and co-Founder of the Advance Care Planning Decisions Foundation.
Aretha Delight Davis - physician at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Advance Care Planning Decisions Foundation.
Naftali Bendavid - correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, currently based in Brussels.