Friday, November 30, 2012

Dr. William Dale on End-of-Life Medical Choices

[This was an excellent interview!  Highly recommended. Information below from Diana Hsieh. --PSH]

On Wednesday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed Dr. William Dale about "End-Of-Life Medical Choices." An audio recording of the episode is now available as a podcast on the show's archive page:
This was one of my favorite episodes ever, because I learned so much more than I expected.  It would be a great interview to listen to and then discuss with your spouse, siblings, parents, and adult children.
Many people struggle with difficult decisions about complex medical problems as they near the end of their lives. That time is wrenching for family too. How can people make good decisions about medical care? What mistakes should they try to avoid? How can people prepare for that future now?

Dr. William Dale
 is a geriatrician at The University of Chicago Medicine with a doctorate in health policy and extensive experience in oncology. He has devoted his career to the care of older adults with cancer – particularly prostate cancer. Dr. Dale has a special interest in the identification and treatment of vulnerable older patients who have complex medical conditions, including cancer. He is actively researching the interactions of cancer therapies with changes associated with aging.

The topics covered include:
  • Dr. Dale's work
  • End-of-life challenges for the patient
  • End-of-life challenges for others
  • The choice of more versus less treatment
  • Doctors telling patients the whole truth
  • What patients can do to get more and better information
  • Patients' regrets about treatment
  • The importance of knowing one's own preferences
  • Dealing with family problems
  • Living will versus power of attorney
  • Talking to the person with your power of attorney
  • The emotions of dealing with death
  • Being a supportive and reasonable family member
  • Conflicts between in-town-and out-of-town family
  • Conflicts in the family over care
  • The "five stages of grief"
  • Differences between ethnic groups about end-of-life care
Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.
— Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy)