The persistently unsafe state of dying in America should provoke a Howard Beale moment.
Let's start by requiring medical schools to adequately train young doctors to assess and treat pain, listen to patients concerns and collaborate with patients and families in making treatment decisions and test for those skills before awarding medical degrees. Let's require nursing home companies to double staffing of nurses and aides, and the hours of care recorded each resident. Let's set minimum standards for pallets of care teams within every hospital. Let's routinely publish meaningful quality ratings for hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living, home health and hospice programs for people to use in choosing care. And let's repeal the Medicare statute that forces incurably ill people to forgo disease treatments in order to receive hospice care.
Ira Byock: Dying Shouldn't Be So Brutal NYT 2/1/16