Posted by: yourhealthradio | January 7, 2014

Hospice Care: Comfort & Compassion with Libby Hart

This weekend on YOUR HEALTH® Adam & Cristy will be talking with Libby Hart, RN, Health Educator at UNC Hospice, about Hospice Care: Comfort & Compassion.

Please tune in! This show will air:

• Saturday, January 11th at 9am
• Sunday, January 12th at 9am and 5pm
• Monday, January 13th at 6pm and 10pm

KKAG Retro Radio 88.7FM
• Sunday, January 12th at 7am

Listen to the Show!


Additional Commentary:

This wonderful interview with Libby Hart, RN nurse educator, helps educate us about hospice care. I appreciated Dr. Hart’s explanation about hospice as an active team-based model of care that can help patients and families achieve comfort in the last months of their lives. The compassionate discussion of goals of care and helping families and patients negotiate even simple acts such as eating a meal is invaluable and their fears over taking pain medicines like morphine. The discussion of patient and family fears about the double effects of morphine as they fear it may shorten patients’ lives in addition to controlling pain is particularly salient given the increasing use of these medicines in daily life. Lastly, while many people may feel uncomfortable about volunteering to help people in the last months of their life but it may be as quick as running errands for the patients or their families.
I had hoped there might be more discussion about the larger field of palliative care which can occur anywhere throughout our lives and is not limited to the last stages of life, but it appears this was beyond the scope of the interview. I would encourage that we as a society begin to move beyond the black-and-white line of “6 months or less to live” or not, into a realm where comfort can go hand in hand with routine medical care.
Perhaps the most important part of this interview is the discussion of prognosis and how even physicians struggle with assessing and communicating limited prognosis to patients while maintaining hope. A wonderful article in the New York Times by Dr. Paul Kalanithi notes this prognostic divide. It is our attempts to understand how long we have left, and gain meaning in our lives that is perhaps the most challenging part of hospice. This interview raised many important points for us to consider as patients, family members, and potential volunteers.


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