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In a recent Kaiser Health News story, JoNel Aleccia reported on the difficulty that some physicians face when discussing serious illness and the end of life with patients. She spoke with C-TAC Chief Medical Officer Brad Stuart, MD, as well as Tony Back, MD, an important partner of C-TAC’s who serves as co-director of the University of Washington’s Center for Excellence in Palliative Care.

Dr. Stuart explained that for many doctors, especially those who treat cancer and other challenging diseases, “death is viewed as a failure.”

Providers often continue to prescribe treatment, even if it’s futile, Stuart said. It’s the difference between curing a disease and healing a person physically, emotionally and spiritually, Dr. Stuart said.

“Curing is what it’s all about and healing has been forgotten,” he said.

Dr. Back estimated that up to three-quarters of all patients with serious illness receive news in what researchers call a “suboptimal way.”

The full article is available here.

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