Tag Archives: dying

Award-winning reporter educates readers about end-of-life care

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Death is not something most people want to think about, let alone read about in the local newspaper. Reporting on end-of-life issues takes sensitivity, sound editorial judgement, patience and tenacity to develop relationships with patients and families, to share their stories and for them to allow a virtual stranger into their lives during such an intimate time.

Luanne Rife, health reporter at The Roanoke Times, not only wrote extensively about these issues, she gave readers a close-up view of the process through intimate and memorable profiles. Continue reading

Defining Hope: An uplifting look at end-of-life

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Defining Hope film

You wouldn’t necessarily expect a documentary about end-of-life issues to be uplifting. But at the premiere of a new film about the topic, the audience smiled and laughed. At other times, they fought back tears. Many mentioned a resolve to start talking about their wishes and goals. Continue reading

Colorado becomes sixth state to approve aid-in-dying law

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

dying-graphicstockWhile the dust may still be swirling around the presidential election, voters in Colorado were crystal clear about their support for Proposition 106, The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64.6 percent) approved legalizing assisted death for patients with a terminal illness who desired it. A prognosis of death within six months would be required.

As The Denver Post reported, patients meeting this and other criteria would be allowed to self-administer aid-in-dying drugs to die voluntarily. Continue reading

How the discussion on dying has changed over 40 years: A conversation with Nancy Berlinger

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

If you want a refresher on how far society has come on dealing with end-of-life care issues — and what issues are still to be resolved — then this retrospective article in the Feb 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine from experts at The Hastings Center is a great place to begin. It reviews the history of the end-of-life care movement in the U.S., takes a look at the integration of palliative care into health care delivery, discusses the still controversial “death with dignity” laws and ethical issues like removal of feeding and hydration tubes.

I recently spoke with co-author Nancy Berlinger, Ph.D., a research scholar at Hastings, about how the conversation on death and dying has changed over four decades. Continue reading

Blogger’s journey in ‘Alzheimer’s World’ brings perspective to national plan

Judith Graham

About Judith Graham

Judith Graham (@judith_graham), is a freelance journalist based in Denver and former topic leader on aging for AHCJ. She haswritten for the New York Times, Kaiser Health News, the Washington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association, STAT News, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

Last week was life-changing for Bob DeMarco, author of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room blog. It was the week that his beloved mother, Dotty – the inspiration for his blog – died.

Regular readers knew that Dotty was failing because DeMarco wrote about the end of her life as he writes about everything: with unvarnished honesty, deep insight and love.

There are others who have written well about the experience of living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease. But DeMarco did so more consistently than anyone else.

Core Topics
Health Reform
Aging
Other Topics

Many other people – families, physicians, other experts, even advocates – refer to those who have Alzheimer’s as being lost to the world and themselves. DeMarco never accepted this. He was sure Dotty remained with him despite entering a different “Alzheimer’s reality.”

Day after day, he endeavored to map his mother’s new “Alzheimer’s world” for readers. Last July, for instance, he wrote about how to communicate with someone who asks the same question over and over again. The key is to enter into that person’s experience, DeMarco suggested. Continue reading

CBC, grad students cover palliative care and death in Canada

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The CBC’s new series on dying has a unique provenance: The stories are the work of 16 graduate students at The University of Western Ontario, as well as that of CBC health reporters, and are the final product of a unique journalism course focused on reporting on death and dying. gooddeathThe collaboration seems to have started with a definition of its title, “A Good Death.” In this case, it means one that is “peaceful, loving and comfortable.” Access to such an end, the journalists found, varied widely depending on economic, geographic and cultural circumstances.

The introduction to the package has wonderful descriptions of all the stories that went into it but they don’t link to the pieces. I’ve taken the liberty of adding relevant links, then copying and pasting that section below.