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Big Ideas Theater: End of Life Discussions from the RT Perspective

Resource Type: Webinars
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The COPD Foundation’s Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT, participated in the American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) “Big Ideas Theater” to discuss end-of-life decisions. She explained the differences between palliative care and hospice care and how families make these decisions for their loved ones. Throughout the conversation, Stephanie talked about the value of hospice care and the benefits to both patients and family members. She also discussed the role of RTs in hospice care and what can be done to ensure the patient is comfortable. The segment was taped during AARC’s 2017 Annual Congress in Indianapolis, IN.

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The American Association for Respiratory Care. Big Ideas Theater: End of Life Discussions from the RT Perspective. Updated August 29, 2018. Accessed March 11, 2020.

hospice Palliative care


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  • Love this. Will going to watch the video now.
  • Are all hospice providers required to provide RTs for their COPD patients?
    • Hi Petra P-
      Currently, there isn’t a requirement to provide RTs in a hospice scenario, but I am finding that more hospice companies are providing them as a way to show they are truly interested in ensuring quality, comfortable care for their patients.
      Great question!
  • What an informative video. When she speaks of that "Last Morphine Shot" I was always under the impression that it was classed as Assisted Suicide, which is illegal. I believe talks are a necessary part of life and should take place early. I opted for an Advance Directive in my late 40's but did not actually DO it until I was diagnosed with C.O.P.D. and Emphysema which was followed with my diagnosis of Degenerative Disk Disease within months. Both took place in my mid 50's. I wanted to make sure my children were not faced with decisions that they'd have to live with for the rest of their lives. Upon researching both diseases and becoming aware of just how bad "the end" can be I began researching "Euthanasia." I feel that everyone "should" have the right to say "Enough is Enough" and to have the ability to have their loved ones and close friends surround them as they put an end to their suffering. It is time for Life Insurance to acknowledge the suffering of "terminal conditions" and NOT penalize someone for saying "I can't take this anymore, please let it end." It should not deem it suicide but a "Right to Die With Dignity" I believe we have reached an age of enlightenment.
    • Toni54, I think there is a slight misunderstanding here. What you are referring to is something called Death with Dignity, or Right to Die, basically physician assisted dying. It is very different from hospice. There are about 5 states where this is now legal and it has been gaining in momentum.
  • Hospice is wonderful, great learning pointers to consider Stephanie, all to often when you hear about Hospice people gasp!