The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Ideas and Opinions |

Talking It Out: Helping Our Patients Live Better While Dying

Meltem Zeytinoglu, MD, MBA
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Acknowledgment: The author thanks Sydney Dy, MD, MSc, for her feedback throughout the writing of this manuscript and Eva Dugoff, MPP, for her valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Grant Support: By the American Cancer Society Physician Training Award in Cancer Prevention and Control.

Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M11-0008.

Requests for Single Reprints: Meltem Zeytinoglu, MD, MBA, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Chicago (NorthShore) Programs, 2650 Ridge Avenue, Room 5319, Evanston, IL 60201; e-mail, meltemz@gmail.com.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: M. Zeytinoglu.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: M. Zeytinoglu.

Drafting of the article: M. Zeytinoglu.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: M. Zeytinoglu.

Final approval of the article: M. Zeytinoglu.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: M. Zeytinoglu.

Collection and assembly of data: M. Zeytinoglu.

Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(12):830-832. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-154-12-201106210-00011
Text Size: A A A

Although dying is an inevitable part of the life cycle, there has been extensive political debate over end-of-life care. Participating in end-of-life care conversations can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved. Messages about serious or terminal illnesses can be very hard for patients and their families to hear, and physicians frequently struggle with the burden of delivering these messages. Still, evidence shows that conversations about end-of-life care options between physicians and patients can improve the quality of life of dying patients and help to relieve the emotional burden on surviving loved ones.

Legislation to support these discussions by consistently reimbursing physicians for their time spent performing this service has been blocked on multiple occasions. More research on how to improve end-of-life care will enable health care providers to optimize treatment of their patients. Overcoming political divides to support end-of-life care conversations is needed to promote care that is consistent with patients' values and needs and is a key step in encouraging better quality of life for dying patients.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $32.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.