Death, Dying and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Death, Dying and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

What: Conference sponsored by the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence
When: Oct. 4, 2013, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Center for Care and Discovery, 7th Floor Sky Lobby
How: RSVP to Michael McHugh

Advances in modern medicine and biotechnology have changed the way people die. Unfortunately, families of dying patients are often critical of and report dissatisfaction with what they view as highly medicalized deaths.

Patients often suffer unnecessarily as they approach death, and this suffering could be prevented or mitigated by improvements in terminal care, by strengthening doctor-patient relationships, and by patients being better prepared for death.

The conference re-examines the concept of the art of dying by drawing from the work of clinicians, ethicists, philosophers, and theologians. The goal is to articulate a framework for a contemporary art of dying in the context of today's health care environment.

"We will examine from many perspectives how our society approaches the final stage of life and how strengthening the doctor-patient relationship can improve this difficult experience for the patient, the family, and the medical community," said Mark Siegler, MD, the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery and executive director of the Bucksbaum Institute.

Speakers include:

  • Jeffrey P. Bishop, MD, PhD, Saint Louis University
  • Lisa Sowle Cahill, PhD, Boston College
  • Farr Curlin, MD, University of Chicago
  • Lydia Dugdale, MD, Yale School of Medicine
  • Michelle Harrington, AM, University of Chicago
  • John Lantos, MD, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
  • Stephen Latham, JD, PhD, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University
  • M. Therese Lysaught, PhD, Loyola University
  • Daniel Sulmasy, MD, PhD, University of Chicago

Session topics include:

  • Preparing for Death: Doctors, Patients and Their Communities
  • Challenges of Death
  • The "Good Death"
  • When Children Die

The conference papers will be published as a book by MIT Press.

The Bucksbaum Institute, founded in 2011, is committed to improving care by preparing medical students and physicians to provide individualized personal care to patients. This conference accords with the goals of the Bucksbaum Institute as it seeks to improve communication between doctor and patient at the end of life; to equip patients and families to navigate the difficult terrain of end-of-life medical decisions; and to enhance care of dying patients.