The Wall Street Journal Health Blog
reports on increased discussions about palliative care following a recent New Yorker piece by M.D.-journalist Atul Gawande and a new piece in Slate that examines end-of-life care and the emergency room. "In Slate yesterday, Joanne Kenen reports on how palliative care plays out in the emergency room, where many of these patients with chronic, terminal diseases are frequent visitors. One of 500 ER patients dies there, and another 3% subsequently die in the hospital after being admitted. … Emory University Hospital, the Bronx's Montefiore Medical Center and Chicago's Northwest Memorial Hospital are all 'exploring the intersection' between the two fields, integrating palliative care physicians and nurses into the treatment team, when necessary. The emergency room, she writes, 'is one place to start' to change the very 'culture of care' in the U.S., 'doing a better job of caring for patients with slowly worsening chronic disease'" (Hobson, 8/5).