Lectures by Experts on Terminal Illness Issues
Palliative care will take center stage in an unusual collaboration this fall between Hopkins and the University of Maryland, with the two institutions joining forces to present talks by experts from around the country on critical regulatory, medical and ethical aspects of end-of-life treatment.
Titled “Promoting Quality of Life in Chronic and Terminal Illness,” the series aims to give health care providers “more in-depth education in an area that’s only recently being discussed in organized medicine,” says Carla Alexander, director of palliative care at the University of Maryland and medical director of Johns Hopkins Home Hospice.
Alexander and Hopkins oncologist Michael Carducci put together the lecture-and-discussion series, which kicks off Oct. 12 with a talk on delirium by William Breitbart of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a specialist in pain control, depression and delirium in patients with cancer and HIV. Other highlights of the 12-session series include Michael N. Levy, a pain specialist from Fox Chase Cancer Center, speaking Oct. 26 on the role of terminal sedation near the end of life, and David Barnard, chairman of humanities at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, addressing Nov. 12 the ethical dimensions of the transition from curative treatment to palliative care. Other sessions cover a wide spectrum of issues, with the emphasis on practical applications of new research in the management of chronic and terminal illness. After each lecture, participants will be able to discuss palliative-care issues and share experiences and advice.
It’s through this kind of exchange and cooperation that caregivers will be able to deliver the most compassionate and effective care to terminally ill patients and their families, Alexander says. “Palliative care is something all human beings have in common. It’s a time to focus on the patient and the family rather than on who is delivering the care. What better area of medicine in which to show cooperation?”
“Promoting Quality of Life in Chronic and Terminal Illness” features 12 lectures to be held on Monday and Thursday evenings, Oct. 12 to Nov. 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Some sessions will be at Hopkins’ Hurd Hall, others at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center Auditorium. No advanced registration is required; CME sign-in will be available. For further information, contact Stephanie Porter (410-614-4626) or Vini Meyers (410-328-5725).