The option for compassionate end-of-life care

Shared as part of our communication in Neonatal Care Week | 23rd February – 1st March 2015.

Communication matters, not only in the present but upon the lasting effect it has on the future as we look back, reflect and remember.
NICU is a world far removed from any parent’s dream of greeting their new baby, a world where the most difficult of difficult decisions take place.
How bad news is imparted and difficult decisions reached are integral not only to a parents lasting memories, but also for parents to know that the best or perhaps only decision possible has been reached.
In her piece Hugo’s mum Leigh talks about the need not only for honesty, but for health care professionals to consider carefully the language and vocabulary that they use when delivering bad news.

Headspace Perspective

This post, When All Options Have Been Exhausted, from Still Standing magazine has been on my mind since I read it a couple of days ago.

The post describes one bereaved mother’s experience of the end-of-life care for her baby son. She says that knowing the doctors were out of options for saving her son’s life has helped her in her grieving. The post also makes the excellent point about the importance of the distinction between saying “There is nothing more that can be done” – that is, in a medical sense: there are usually things that can be done in terms of giving someone a compassionate, calm death.

I nodded along to the post – so much of it was resonant and reminded me of the day that Hugo died. The post reinforces the need for honesty, and the consideration for appropriate vocabulary when delivering bad news.

Hugo died aged 35…

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