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Making Difficult Decisions

Making Difficult Decisions at the End of Life


Thursday November 8, 2012
7:00 PM
In this talk, certified hospice nurse Michele Leinaweaver will explain some of the most common and troubling decisions people encounter at the end of life.

Some of those decisions are whether or not to be resuscitated (DNR), the choice about placing a feeding tube, and the decision to enter into hospice care. There are no easy answers to the many questions and decisions we are faced with when we or a loved one are navigating through a terminal diagnosis or a life limiting disease. Where once doctors had very little in their tool chests to prevent death, medical technology has now given us so many tools that we often don’t know what to do with them. Today, we can help people stay alive - but we can’t necessarily make them better; therein lies the problem. Now families have to decide what to do - how far to go and when to let go – and this is not easy. People are often asked to make choices  they are not prepared to make, and to make them without sufficient information or experience with outcomes. Study after study shows that most Americans are afraid of dying a prolonged death hooked up to machines and yet so often, this is what happens. How do we begin to navigate this difficult terrain?

Bio

Michele Foster Leinaweaver is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. She is currently a home hospice nurse with Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice but has also worked at Compassionate Care Hospice’s Inpatient Unit at St. Clare’s Hospital in Dover. Before becoming a nurse, Michele earned her degrees in the field of history with a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Northeastern University.
 


 


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