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palliative care

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Maybe all our angst about dying is simply wrong-headed - and counter-productive for those we're concerned about.

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A "disappeared" food safety investigation, fines for polluting school buses, new sports medicine advances and more from our Daily Briefing.

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A reflection story written about Jasper, an unforgettable patient I met when I was a third year medical student on a rural rotation. An intricate tale of Jasper's plight, his family's challenges around his end-of-life care, a personal connection to my father's death, and a discussion on our role as health care providers.

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Today's Daily Briefing features new ideas about health disparities, a personal story about the right to die, and words of wisdom from Tom Brokaw.

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"Dignity therapy" is a "novel psychotherapeutic approach" that gives patients with a 6-month life expectancy "an opportunity to reflect on things that matter most to them or that they would most want remembered." In fact, hospice volunteers have been providing dignity therapy for decades.

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Today in the Daily Briefing we're reading about conflicts of interest, Google Health and wars that don't end at home.

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End-of-life care is often the most expensive health care. Many people, when given the option, choose to opt out of experimental therapies and drugs as they approach death, but the current health care system structure incentivizes more care instead of less. So patients' wishes often get left out of the equation.

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Melissa DelaCalzada is the communications and public relations manager for San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care, a nonprofit, independent health care organization providing expert pain management and compassionate care to adults, children and infants living with serious or life-limiting illness. DelaCalzada has been with the organization for more than 13 years, serving as a media liaison and providing medical experts, resources and interview subjects for local and national stories.

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