End of Life Care

Here is another of the excellent talks from the smaccGOLD conference. Breaking down the ‘tribal’ barriers, this panel presentation included intensivists, emergency physicians and a social worker

A glaring omission was a general practitioner – it was good to see a fair few fellow rural doctors at smaccGOLD – and as well as intersecting spheres of interest in intensive care, our very ethos is cradle-to-grave care

It is a privilege as a rural doctor to be involved in palliative car e- as well as primary care, in-patient care and emergency presentations. I think that primary care doctors can do a LOT to pre-empt difficult conversations – by early discussion of reasonable treatment ceilings and advanced care directives.

We may discuss these in our primary care…then re-visit them at the ‘pointy end’ when on call for emergency – then be involved in either pushing for maximally aggressive care via resuscitation and retrieval…or by appropriate palliation – often the preferred option for rural patients who may value a dignified death in own location over an protracted and invasive barrage of procedures in a tertiary ICU.

Hopefully smaccUS will include some input form rural practitioners in similar discussions where spheres of interest overlap.

The highlight of this talk was the very wonderful Liz Crowe – she really wowed the audience…

See if you agree!


ADDIT : @SarahWerner_NZ has correctly identified that there was nurse representation on this panel – a good point. It was however a wonderful thing to see that smaccGOLD overall was incredibly inclusive – doctors, nurses, paramedics, students etc all with something to give. Highlight for me was Tamara Hill’s short pecha kucha submission, entitled ‘17 Minutes

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