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Recent Events Reach Big Audiences

As a leader in the end-of-life care and options movement, Compassion & Choices strives to provide space for the public and healthcare providers to discuss and learn from one another on these topics. Recent events garnered strong interest and record attendance. 

In November, we held Everything You Want to Know about VSED but Were Afraid to Ask with Dr. Timothy E. Quill, an expert on voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED). VSED is the end-of-life option wherein a person may choose to control their own dying by making a conscious decision to refuse foods and fluids of any kind, including artificial nutrition and hydration.

Another webinar, Don’t Worry Be Ready: A Tour of Compassion & Choices’ Finish Strong Dementia Tools, focused on the steps individuals and families can take to prepare for a dementia diagnosis. Compassion & Choices Integrated Programs Director Matt Whitaker walked attendees through the Dementia Values and Priorities Tool, a free online resource that helps you identify the level of care that’s right for you in the face of advancing disease. It identifies and explains the symptoms that accompany the various stages of dementia and helps you indicate to your loved ones what matters most to you. Both webinars were attended by 1,000 people, with nearly 2,000 registrants. 

This year’s City of Hope End-of-Life Symposium was held both virtually and in-person in Las Vegas, Nevada, in December. These annual symposiums — the first of which was held in 2019 — bring together like-minded individuals in the end-of-life care arena. Between the remote and live options, close to 1,000 attended this three-day conference aimed at educating clinicians, social workers, hospice professionals, spiritual care representatives, hospital administrators, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities staff, medical residents and fellows, and others interested in all things end of life, from hospice to grief and bereavement to burial options. Patient-centered care, compassion and active listening are themes that arose between attendees. Said Compassion & Choices Director of Medical Outreach Robert Drake, part of the panel Religion and End-of-Life Practices at the event, “The symposium was a unique offering that spoke to clinical and lay people with true medical and research giants in cancer, hospice, palliative, emergency and spiritual care. The recurring theme, regardless of presentation topic, was compassion and the importance of understanding the life and values of the treated person and family — kindness and clinical excellence were united.”

View recordings of these events and watch for an announcement about the 2022 City of Hope End of Life International Symposium!