The Proxy Predicament: Making Medical Decisions for Others is Hard

Most of us will lose our ability to make medical decisions for ourselves as we get closer to the last phase of life. At this point, our proxy decision makers will have to make decisions for is. It is impossible for us to truly know what another person may want for themselves in terms of medical decisions. Most proxy decision makers are usually stressed to the maximum in trying to weigh the pros and cons and make decisions for the patient. This process is so much easier if every adult takes 10 minutes to …  Continue »

Featured Articles

High School students trained to become cultural ambassadors for aging and end of life issues

Photo: San Jose Leadership school training day at Stanford

To improve end-of-life care in the United States, especially among minorities, much work will need to be done to build trusting relationships, ones in which patients feel comfortable in engaging in end-of-life conversations. Based on recommendations from multi-ethnic patients and families, Stanford launched the Letter Project, a grass-roots campaign to empower multi-ethnic patients to initiate […]

Doctors struggle with conducting end-of-life conversations with their patients

Photo: Letter Project

A large study published in PLOS ONE identified common barriers doctors face in conducting end-of-life (EOL) conversations with their patients. 1040 doctors from various medical specialties participated in the study and only 0.01 % doctors reported no barriers to conducting EOL conversations with patients. 99.99% doctors reported barriers with 85.7% finding it very challenging to conduct EOL […]

In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day: A reminder for patients to address end-of-life issues

Photo: Shirley and Eddie Jones

When San Jose, Calif. residents Shirley and Eddie Jones wanted to discuss their end-of-life wishes, they encountered resistance from an unexpected source. As detailed in the video above, their beloved children refused to participate in the conversation. As with the Jones, the people who love you the most may not be willing to help you […]

Decision-Making about Dialysis

Photo: Mr. Whitney

More than 20 million Americans, one in 10 adults, have some form of chronic kidney disease. For those suffering from chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease, dialysis is a commonly recommended treatment. But a story published today in the New York Times reports that for older patients the treatment is increasingly being seen as an […]



Why Multiethnic Doctors Struggle With Patients’ End-of-Life Care

Photo: Dr. VJ Periyakoil

Photo: V.J. Periyakoil, MD, directs Stanford University’s Palliative Care Education & Training Program (Richard Springer) New America Media, News Report, Liz Seegert, Posted: May 05, 2015 SANTA CLARA, Calif.–A provocative examination of end-of-life care brought this question into sharp focus for journalists attending the recent Health Journalism 2015 conference here. Paul Kleyman, who moderated a […]

Stanford Program Helps Vietnamese RN Realize His Eldercare “Calling”

Photo: Chi Mai

Nguoi Viet/New America Media, News Feature, Andrew Lam, Posted: Feb 28, 2015 SAN JOSE, Calif.–At only age 28, Chi Mai, is a dedicated registered nurse, but it’s not just his profession. “It’s my calling,” he emphasized. “I’m a devout Catholic and my ultimate goal being a nurse is to save as many lives as possible […]

Stanford Program Educates on End-of-Life Care for Indian Americans

Photo: Indian America seniors

by Reena Rathore, Special to India-West SARATOGA, Calif. — Chandra Lakhani traveled back and forth between India and the United States for several years before finally making the U.S. her base in 2004 to take care of her grandchildren after her young daughter-in-law passed away. Lakhani, now 66, has her hands full keeping up with […]

Japanese American Seniors Write Letters to the Future

Photo: J-Sei Senior Center, in Berkeley, Calif.

by Nichi Bei Weekly/New America Media, News Feature, Tomo Hirai BERKELEY, Calif.– With a racial and age demographic shift on the horizon, Stanford University Medical School launched a mini-fellowship to educate the public on how they can serve ethnic minority seniors. Through it, gerontologist Laurie Ulrick developed a project for Japanese American seniors to pass […]