Tag: end-of-life care

Jeffrey Henstenburg (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


I am a Philadelphia native and a medical student at Thomas Jefferson University class of 2018. I have interests in health systems, policy and population health. Through my training, I have witnessed how we deliver care under our current medical system. I enjoy exploring ways in which we, as future doctors, can make positive change. In my free time I enjoy the outdoors, playing music and eating good food with friends.




Medical Aid in Dying: What My Dog Taught Me

He was sick, but it wasn’t like he was going to die anytime soon. A year ago, my dog Sierra sustained a neurological insult that left him delirious, unable to walk straight and almost entirely blind and deaf. Still, he enjoyed our loving touch, snuggling against my thigh as I watched a movie or falling asleep in my arms while being held. I struggled with these thoughts as the vet pushed the pink, fluid-filled syringe …

Perspective Gained: A Call for End-of-Life Care Training in Medical School

In today’s America, it is well documented that each year, more of our GDP is being devoted to healthcare spending, and a disproportionate amount of that healthcare spending is towards end-of-life care. According to a 2013 report from The Medicare NewsGroup, Medicare spending reached about $554 billion in 2011. This was 21 percent of the total spent on health care in the US that year. About 28 percent of that $554 billion — $170 billion — was spent on patients’ last six months of life.

Palliative Care: What Makes a Life Worth Living?

The traditional structure of medical education begins with teaching normal anatomy and physiology followed by the various pathologies and treatments. Once students reach the clinical years, we are taught to think in the form of a SOAP note. First, perform a history and physical; then, order the necessary diagnostic tests to obtain your subjective and objective information. Next, form your assessment and plan — what is the problem, and how do you fix it?

LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy: Reopening the Doors of Perception

After a nearly 40-year moratorium, a controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in humans has been published in The Journal of Neural and Mental Disease after the pioneering work of Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser. Sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and approved by the BAG (the Swiss Drug Enforcement Agency), the study has completed treatment of all subjects after having enrolled its first patient in April of 2008. Many hallucinogens, such as psilocybin and MDMA, are being investigated today for their clinical benefits as a result of a gradual effort to reexamine the pharmacologic and psychiatric interests in hallucinogens.

Hemlock Societies

Mr. Lacey was irate, to say the least, as he rattled off a list of his symptoms. Constant pain. Nausea. Dizziness. Numbness. Weakness. Fatigue bordering on exhaustion. He said he had been spending most of the day in bed and had become dependent on his wife and children for basic daily tasks. “I’m serious, Doc. I’ve just about had enough of this. I’ve been looking into Hemlock Societies.” The interview screeched to a halt, and …

No Words

She had not been home in at least three days. She sat motionless, shoulders slumped, arms draped limply over her lap. I couldn’t tell if she had nodded off. The wrinkles of her clothes seemed to blend into the lines of her face, stuck in a soft, yet permanent frown. The red of her blouse appeared faint against her pallid skin, as if exhaustion had sapped everything it could from her being, and had moved …

Take Back the Conversation on End-of-Life Care

The epicenter of the debate surrounding costs and utilization of health care is on end-of-life care. A full one-third of Medicare expenditures are spent on chronic illness patients in the last two years of life. For perspective, consider this graph: our costs of care are comparable to those of European countries for the first five decades of life, but we spend twice as much on people in their sixties, thrice as much on people in their seventies, and over four …

The Inevitable

I watched the hospital room in its trickling display of lights—infusions, a ventilator and a monitor with its unrelenting beeping noises. This is what I had come to know of the intensive care unit. As doctors, we are told that we must live and work detached from our patients because emotions can cloud our judgement. But it is difficult to separate emotions when a patient who lies in a bed could be someone’s mother,  someone’s wife or …

After Abraham

The nurse cracked open the door to say, “You have a visitor here to see you.” Abraham’s mother nodded, and the nurse turned to me in the hallway with words of permission to enter. I did so, hesitantly. The room was dimly lit by sunlight fighting its way through soggy clouds to shine on the window. The walls were covered with action heroes sprinting to save lives, while foil balloons hovering over the bed gave …

Kamran Ahmed Kamran Ahmed (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School


Kamran Ahmed is a medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern and Arabic student at the Bayyinah Institute. He is a past Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow and completed his fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He finds excitement in the lively crossroads of science, medicine, religion, and media, keeping in mind the Islamic principle that authentic revelation will not contradict factual science. He enjoys exercise, health food, lectures and books on almost anything, and making new friends.