The Stoeckle Center

The news segment chronicled the experience of a patient diagnosed with advanced cancer as she and her family watched a video that provided information about advance care planning and end-of-life care options.

Helping terminal patients make tough choices

Watching a video about the final days of an illness was an eye-opener for pancreatic cancer patient Bernadette Wilson

02/Jun/2011

The videos were an eye-opener for the patient and allowed her to make an informed decision consistent with her values.  She credited the videos for helping her better understand what occurs in the final days of an illness: “When I saw that gentleman laying there on that ventilator – that was difficult. I wouldn’t want that for me or anyone else.”  The segment concluded with a comment by Dr. Jonathan LaPook, CBS Evening News Medical Correspondent:

“When a patient comes to you and says ‘Doc I’m going to beat this’ and part of you agrees with them or wants to agree with them, it’s hard to start [an end-of-life] conversation and I have made the mistake in my very own practice of delaying that conversation too long and watching one of my patients needlessly suffer at the end of their life because I was not able to properly coordinate end-of-life care. Yes it is a tough conversation, but we owe it to our patients to have it.”

To view the CBS segment, click here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/01/eveningnews/main20068123.shtml

To view the Osgood File, click here: http://www.westwoodone.com/pg/jsp/osgood/transcript.jsp?pid=32135

The videos were created by Dr. Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH at Massachusetts General Hospital, who is also an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.