Educating our Patients about Life and the End of Life: Toward a Pedagogy of Dying

W. Ventres
2014 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine  
There is an extensive literature on how physicians can best educate their patients about living healthierone might call it a "pedagogy of living." In this essay, I suggest that physicians develop a "pedagogy of dying" for their adult patients: educating them about how they can approach death with some measure of grace and dignity, as consistent with their wants as possible, and cognizant of the final reality we all face. This process happens in the ambulatory settings as part of ongoing care
more » ... precedes any serious illness or the crisis of hospitalization. I draw on known models for communicating effectively, my own practice experience, and the disciplines of palliative care and bioethics in asking physicians to consider developing such a "pedagogy of dying," a kind of anticipatory guidance toward aging, infirmity, and, ultimately, death. (J Am Board Fam Med 2014;27:713-716.)
doi:10.3122/jabfm.2014.05.130301 pmid:25201942 fatcat:j2whzwtn25c2hg2p4gtpqxmk44