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VIDEO EXTRA: Dr. Gawande on End-of-Life Issues, "Death Panels"


After his Tuesday interview, Dr. Atul Gawande continued the conversation back stage (find his full interview here.). He addressed the controversy over end-of-life policies — and the so-called “death panels” charge. Hear about Dr. Gawande’s powerful personal experience as a doctor, and read his New Yorker article “Letting Go.”

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  • Karen

    I love the need for end of life counseling. So many people do not have any plans for what they want for their funeral much less what should be done with their money, their power of attorney, when to pull the plug, what parts should be donated, what type of quality of life they want to have when hospitalized or institutionalized and how they want to have their lives ended. Humans do not ackowledge death as a given. We do not want to look it in the face.

    Discussing how you want your life to end is the ultimate of control. To have the government encourage this conversation with your physicians and most importantly your family is imperative.

    I hate the fact that some are calling these death panels rather than facing the truth of just encouraging people to have a plan for when they are very ill or when death comes a ‘knocking at their door, which it will for all of us at one point in time or another.

  • Darla Shelden

    I just saw an interview with Dr. Gawande on The Rachel Maddow Show. He seems to be a kind, intelligent and compassionate physician. End of life discussions are difficult and I find particularly in America, that we just don’t want to entertain any reality of death. With extraordinary methods of extending lives we are ending up with situations that are not only unbearable for the patient, but puts the family and caregivers through unnecessary hope and financial burden to stave off the inevitable. The quality of life somehow is not even being considered. This can strain any last experiences of joy and love. It’s hard to imagine a concept that doctors would need to be ‘reimbursed’ to discussed this important issue.

  • Susan Baar

    During the election, Sarah Palin made endless noise regarding death panels when it was a scary, hot-button topic that served as grist for her tirades about what she hawked as the democrat’s agenda. Interesting, with Arizona’s cutting out coverage for organ transplants, it looks like Sarah might have been prescient. But, oops, Arizona is a Republican state and it’s her party that has implemented the first actual steps toward her “death panels”. Anyone care to predict how little she will have to say on the subject now?

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