Today’s doctors are trained to keep patients alive, but not always to prepare them for death. From developing a care plan to delivering the news to supporting their patients’ medical, emotional and spiritual needs, most doctors are uncomfortable starting the conversations required to develop the most appropriate end-of-life care plans.
As Baby Boomers retire and age, we have an older generation that has grown up expecting continuing gains to their longevity. But longevity doesn’t mean everyone who lives longer lives in good health. In fact, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 60 percent of adult Americans have a chronic disease, and 40 percent have more than one1. Our medical community needs to ensure that the sickest and most vulnerable in this generation will receive comprehensive, high-quality, person- and family-centered care that honors their dignity and choices and is consistent with their goals and values.