Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What to know about hospice and palliative care

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 19, 2013 3:13 PM

What to look for Smart Talk Wednesday, November 20, 2013:

hospice palliative care 300 x 240.jpg

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Since many people don't discuss death and end-of-life issues, they may not be familiar with with either concept. 

The National Hospice Foundation says:

  • Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.
  • Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death. Hospice staff and volunteers offer a specialized knowledge of medical care, including pain management.
  • The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient's last days by offering comfort and dignity.

Palliative care is centered on caring for patients and their families, supporting quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.

Smart Talk addresses hospice and palliative care of Wednesday's program with Dr. Joan Harrold, Vice President, Medical Services, Hospice & Community Care and Dr. Douglas Arbittier, Medical Director of Perioperative Services and physician champion of WellSpan Health's End-of-Life Taskforce.


Dr. Douglas Arbittier and Dr. Joan Harrold

For information on hospice with links to many resources, go to Walking on Sacred Ground.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-20 09:17

    Laura emails:

    I cannot praise Hospice care enough! When my husband was ill...and we knew it was only a matter of time...Hospice gave him wonderful, compassionate care.

    Nurses, a social worker, and a supervisor were often in our home. They advised me regarding palliative care, and actually cared for my needs as well as Pete's.

    They were with me when Pete died and cried with me. The staff people who were with me were very compassionate. It was obvious that they really cared for the people whom they cared for.

    I've met some of the people in the almost 3 years since Pete's passing, and it was a contact with old friends. These people really care!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-20 09:45

    Jennifer writes via Facebook:

    great story-I appreciate hearing coverage of this topic (coming from an ICU nurse)

  • Weezy img 2013-11-20 21:07

    WITF used to post a transcript of each show, but I can't seem to find transcripts lately.

    I listened in my car on the way home from the nursing home to the last few minutes of the evening rebroadcast and the conversation went something like this:

    Caller: My dad had a number of illnesses including leukemia which was in remission. He was on a med for the leukemia, but it was clear the end was approaching. He went into Hospice and Medicaid (or Medicare -- not sure which she said) insisted on stopping the treatment for the leukemia. Without the leukemia meds, he was/would have been in extreme pain. I had some meds stockpiled from prior hospitalizations, so I slipped him the leukemia meds. I don't understand why he had to switch from the meds that kept him comfortable with his leukemia to the standard hospice pain killer meds. [Granted, this is a paraphrase -- but pretty close to what I understood the caller to be asking about.]

    Dr. Joan Harrold: Being in a hospice program generally can require the cessation of meds designed to treat certain conditions. [I was surprised and a bit confused by her answer. This post is to see if I can get more clarification from either Dr. Harrold or from Dr. Douglas Arbittier.]


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