Health Journalist's Firsthand Encounter with End-of-Life Decisions
In "How Mom's Death Changed My Thinking About End-of-Life Care," journalist Charles Ornstein thoughtfully presents how his personal experience with the uncertainties of medical diagnosis, treatment, futility, end-of-life decisions for his mother differed from his objective, clearer views on these subjects as a veteran health-care reporter. He candidly shares his new-found appreciation for the intense difficulty of figuring out how to apply her general wishes to her specific medical situation -- about whether to try treatments and/or when to stop trying. He also shares insights about the role of hope and a new understanding of "how little the costs to t he broader health-care system matter to the family of a patient." Mr. Ornstein is also current board president of the Association of Health Care Journalists.