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 […]

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

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

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

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

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 […]

Veteran’s Day 2014: Jerry Romano’s end-of-life care testimonial

As the population is aging, there is a great need for quality patient-centered, family oriented care for all older adults and their families. Over the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been well recognized for the very high quality of care provided to seriously ill veterans and their families. In fact,  the […]

Study: Doctors Choose Different Plan for Dying Patients Than for Themselves

by Paul Kleyman, New America Media, June 2, 2014 SAN FRANCISCO—A new study questions whether doctors providing end-of-life care are “prolonging life, or are we prolonging the dying process,” said lead researcher VJ Periyakoil, MD, who directs Stanford Medical School’s Palliative Care Education and Training program. The study, titled “Do Unto Others,” reveals that even […]

One more knock against Vitamin D

Study adds to evidence that supplementation does not prevent falls in the elderly Are vitamin D supplements magic pills, or simply a waste of money? Despite hope from a few scientific papers, a new study published today in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology adds to the evidence that supplemental Vitamin D does not prevent falls […]

Risk Gene for Alzheimer’s Appears to Affect Women Differently than Men

A well known risk gene for Alzheimer’s Disease may have a more potent effect on women, according to research published today in the Annals of Neurology. Everyone has 2 copies of a gene called APOE but some people carry a form of the gene, called APOE4, that has been associated with an increased risk for […]

Advance Directives More Popular over Last Decade

A study published today finds that record numbers of people are completing advance directives to navigate end-of-life medical care. The research, published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative sample of older Americans that is conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research on […]