Last week we talked mostly about the difference between withdrawing and withholding life-sustaining treatments, and touched a bit on surrogate decision makers, the challenge of interacting with families and what to do when it becomes clear that some medical approaches are futile. These are each topics that could consume an entire class, if not a whole quarter. It's reasonable that you feel like there are some loose ends!
This week's challenge offers a chance for each of you to do a little teaching about some of these difficult issues.
How do you break bad news? Write about one strategy you use (or could use) to talk with patients or families about death or a terminal diagnosis.
Update Jan 27, 2009: If this is an issue you are particularly interested in, there's a good article available about grief in the ER available on eMedicine. You may need to register for a free login with MedScape to read it.