End of Life: S.A. expert explores issue in USA Today

End of life issues are very much in the news these days, but hospital and other healthcare professionals have dealt with these issues  every day fror years.

heart-monitorUSA Today reporter  Cathy Lynn Grossman explored this topic in detail in her article “Life and Death: Hospital ethics panels help families decide.”  The article features  comments from Methodist Healthcare Bioethics Committe Chair Dawn Seery, who facilitates the class “Conversations Before the Crisis” in San Antonio.

Grossman reports in USA Today:

While headlines scream about “death panels” and Congress wrangles over health care reform, these committees or consultants have worked in U.S. hospitals for nearly two decades.

 They are typically volunteers: physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, ethicists and medical school professors, who mediate among facts, emotions, hope and fantasy.

 “Culture and religion inform every decision about health, illness, disease and care, about true caring, about who can live, about the measure of quality in a life, about when suffering begins and how it ends. We bring our full selves to every bedside,” says Dawn Seery, head of the five-hospital Methodist Healthcare System’s bioethics committee in San Antonio.

The next “Conversations Before the Crisis” session will be Oct. 28 from 2-4 p.m. at the Methodist Healthcare System office, Classroom 1, 8109 Fredericksburg Road . Call 210-575-0355 or 1-800-333-7333 to register in advance. The class covers information on advance directives and designating medical power of attorney.

— SA Health

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