Friday, May 29, 2015

Sharing the Experience - Honoring Choices Minnesota

Plan now to attend the 6th Annual Honoring Choices Minnesota Conference - on Thursday, July 16, 2015, from 8:15 to 4:30, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel.

Featuring Keynote Speakers
  • Kris Maser, JD - "Planning for a Good Life: An Attorney's Personal & Professional Journeyinto Advance Care Planning"
  • Ruth Bachman - "A Narrow Spot in the Hourglass: Lessons in Integrity, Courage & Grace"

Concurrent Sessions 
  • Where Are They Now? Allina, Fairview, and Park Nicollet/HealthPartners
  • speak on their ACP growth, change, and plans for the future
  • Spiritual Perspectives: Breaking New Ground
  • Voices of Advance Care Planning: A Multicultural Tool
  • ACP Outstate: Developing ACP Programs beyond the Twin Cities

Additional Sessions and Topics include
  • ACP Growth in Minnesota and Nationally
  • Taking a Stand: University students share their work with ACP
  • Reducing Health Care Disparities: a new Honoring Choices video resource
  • ACP Outcomes: 7 Years Down the Road

Scary Hospital Room [EOL in Art 19]

Even video game art can prompt reflection.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

ICU StoryWeb - Sharing Stories about ICU Treatment Decisions

ICU StoryWeb is a new interactive, web-based tool designed to help people share their stories about making decisions related to life-sustaining treatment for family members and friends in the ICU. 

ICU StoryWeb involves three components: 

  1. Users can listen to other people's stories. Listening to stories helps normalize feelings. 
  2. Users can share their own stories. A downloadable storytelling kit guides them to record their story using a cellphone recording or by journaling. Sharing stories about traumatic events is known to reduce post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. 
  3. Users can connect to grief support resources and storytelling events in their region.

Shadow of Death [EOL in Art 18]

The shadow of death is scarier than death itself in this depiction by Laura Csajagi.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brain Death Conference - Milwaukee

On Tuesday June 2,  the Medical College of Wisconsin Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities will host a day-long conference exploring issues surrounding brain death:  "Death by Brain Criteria."  

Father at Mt. Sinai [EOL in Art 17]

Max Ferguson's "My Father at Mt. Sinai" depicts his dad on a hospital bed, with a tube under his nose. The curtain in the foreground is a tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl).  I like that dad is mid-speech and engaged with the viewer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

End-of-Life Care Is Getting Worse

Joan Teno's new report in The Journal of Palliative Medicine confirms that there are still large gaps between the kind of care that patients and families want and the care they actually receive. 

Teno and her coauthors compared two surveys, one conducted in 2000, and the second carried out between 2011 and 2013. Each of the studies asked individuals about the care received by elderly loved ones at the end of life.  

Despite all the effort put into improving end-of-life care in recent years, there was a marked decline in satisfaction between the first survey and the second. While 56.7% of respondents in 2000 said that the care their loved one received was “excellent,” only 47% could say the same in the 2011-2013 study.

Teno rightly observes: “People are less satisfied with care at the close of life, and I think it’s now urgent for us to start thinking about what interventions we can do to improve care at the end of life.

Death Carts [EOL in Art 16]

The death cart is an object that was used in acts of corporal penance performed by the Hermanos de la Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno. The Brotherhoods were secretive, lay-religious fraternal organizations that served the spiritual needs of Hispanic Roman Catholics in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Public processions reenacted the sorrow and suffering of Christ’s final days.  The female Angel of Death, Doña Sebastiana, serves as a reminder of human mortality and the importance of preparing for a good death through prayer and virtuous deeds.