Episode 62 - Dr. Jay Wolfson: Head, Heart, and Hope: The Complex Challenges of Decision-Making at End of Life

Monday, January 10, 2011, 9:46:33 AM

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In this episode, Dr. Jay Wolfson discusses his experience and reflections serving as guardian ad litem for Terri Schiavo, the young woman whose case captured the nation's attention in 2003. Dr. Wolfson describes the clinical, political, and legal issues he encountered and the complex drama between the head (science) and the heart (hope) present as families and professionals make critical decisions that affect the life (and death) of others.

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Average Rating: 5stars  thuman's review, Saturday, April 21, 2012

By Thuman :

This podcast struck a personal nerve with me as I recently loss my father to ALS and had to face many end of life decisions with my family. Terri’s law appointed a guardian ad litem to the case who was to act as an objective third party. Terri’s parents wanted to keep her alive by means of hydration and feeding tubes and her husband wanted to terminate life support. It was said that hope is the single most powerful force that can drive a decision in a family in an end of life decision. The video showed by a senator at the time of this case is especially disturbing. The video stated that she is aware of things going on around her. That allowed her parents and family to have hope, which was not medically correct. I agree with the encouragement to make your wishes clear about your end of life beliefs. It makes things easier on your family and can save them great distress. In my personal experience with my dad, things were extremely difficult for my family, as my father would never discuss his wishes during the entire span of his illness.

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