by Michelle Brandt
November 27, 2012
No one likes talking about dying, but Stephanie Pincus, MD, MBA, believes we all need to do more of it. Pincus is one of the key people who participated in the work that resulted in a new Institute of Medicine committee tasked with exploring and preparing a report on the current state of end-of-life care in the country. The committee’s ultimate goal is to ensure that people are able to die as they wish.
“People do not want to die alone, in a hospital bed, hooked up to 15 different machines, with buzzing in their ears. They want to be with their families in familiar surroundings, able to say their good-byes peacefully,” Pincus, who recently gave a talk at the medical school sponsored by the Stanford Palliative Care training program, told me.
“Until about 100 years ago death was part of life. In early times in the U.S. when someone died they were laid out on the kitchen table,” she continued. “But as we moved medical care to the hospital, death became isolated and isolating. We need to reclaim death from the hospital and reintegrate with the family.” More