A doctor faces his own death – and takes on the law.
“Kligler is one of two physicians who have filed suit against Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and state Attorney General Maura Healey to prevent authorities from prosecuting doctors who prescribe fatal doses of sleeping pills at the request of terminally ill patients.
If successful, the lawsuit would add Massachusetts to a growing list of states that legally allows a practice called medical aid in dying.
For Kligler, a 65-year-old retired primary care physician, the suit is a way to continue to help reduce people’s pain and suffering, but this time in perpetuity.
“Usually people die a peaceful death with family and friends around them being able to say goodbye,” Kligler said. “This helps people to live their lives without fear.”
This innovative Pre-Hospice program is saving money by helping aging people stay in their homes longer:
"Most aging people would choose to stay home in their last years of life. But for many, it doesn’t work out: They go in and out of hospitals, getting treated for flare-ups of various chronic illnesses. It’s a massive problem that costs the health care system billions of dollars and has galvanized health providers, hospital administrators and policymakers to search for solutions.
Sharp HealthCare, the San Diego health system where Chinchar receives care, has devised a way to fulfill his wishes and reduce costs at the same time. It’s a pre-hospice program called Transitions, designed to give elderly patients the care they want at home and keep them out of the hospital."
A new study links palliative care to fewer repeat hospitalizations:
"Patients who received inpatient palliative care consultations have improved quality of life, reduced intensive care unit utilization, longer stays in hospice and lower overall cost of care," said lead study author Dr. Kerin Adelson of Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut.
"Despite this, many patients never receive palliative care," Adelson said by email. "Patients who do not receive palliative care are more likely to have medicalized deaths and receive unwanted, futile, interventions near the end of life."