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A discussion of palliative care, death with dignity and MAID laws

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WJCT

On this episode, What's Health Got to Do With It? hopes to clarify what’s what when it comes to long-term disease management and end-of-life care.

Palliative care is the rare specialty of medicine that seeks to find peace between the body and the mind. It is also rapidly growing in the United States.

Since 2000, the percentage of U.S. hospitals with 50 or more beds and a palliative care program has more than tripled. As of 2019, more than 81% of those hospitals had a palliative care team.

Despite that growth, there is a lot of confusion as to what exactly palliative medicine is.

On this episode, What's Health Got to Do With It? hopes to clarify what’s what when it comes to long-term disease management and end-of-life care.

First, a discussion with, Gregory Meyer, professor of practice in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, and neurologist Dr. Maisha Robinson, chair of the Mayo Clinic's Department of Palliative Medicine in Jacksonville,

Then, we talk with Diane Rehm host of a long-running —- almost four decades! — NPR program. During that time, she interviewed presidents, celebrities, politicians from all parties and countless others.

Rehm also spoke publicly and firmly about her late husband plight with Parkinson’s disease until he passed away after he stopped eating and drinking to end his suffering.

She has placed a spotlight on the issue of death with dignity by focusing on Medical Aid in Dying, or MAID. She believes people have the right to choose when their physical, mental and emotional suffering should come to an end.

When Diane began working on the film "When My Time Comes" in 2016, there were only three states whose laws allowed for MAID. By the time she finished the film, tthere were 10, plus the District of Columbia. Now 18 additional Legislatures are debating the passage of that law, first passed in Oregon in 1997.

To hear this espisode of What's Health Got to Do With It, click on the Listen button above.

Copyright 2022 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Katherine Hobbs
WJCT NEWS - SUMMER INTERN 2020