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People who are facing serious, life-ending illness, are often overwhelmed with information and decisions about treatment options. Palliative care is a specialized type of medicine that focuses on patients with serious illness. Discussing the end of life is never easy, in some communities it is considered taboo, but major decisions require conversations. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are currently considering a proposal to pay doctors for advance care planning conversations. What happens when family members don’t agree on the best course of action for someone with a serious disease? What cultural considerations should doctors consider when speaking with Native American patients about this difficult topic? Would you like doctors to have more conversations about end-of-life health care decisions?
Dr. Blythe Winchester (Eastern Band of Cherokee) – geriatrician for the Cherokee Indian Hospital and medical director for the Tsali Care Center
Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson (Diné) – vice president of the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health
Break Music: Kayas (song) Bear Creek (artist) Through Thick and Thin (album)