Monday, August 2, 2010
Lost in the demagoguery of "death panels" was the fact that palliative care is a massively underutilized and under-emphasized part of our health care system. Dying is a difficult issue, to be sure. The "death panel" smear just took a difficult subject and made it off-limits. We need to talk about tough issues, especially ones this important. Atul Gawande is talking about it in the New Yorker. It is a must read. The element of truth in attacks on hospice care is that it will save money. But it's also very important on a human level, as Gawande makes clear. Read the whole thing.