Author Archives: Virginia Pedersen

Having the Right End of Life Discussions

Recently, reading an article in Journal of the American Medical Association and also a blog from Boston Children’s Hospital, has caused me to think about the conversations we are not having. Amy Sanderson, MD, an intensivist at Boston Children’s Hospital, has done a survey with physicians and nurses practicing in oncology, intensive care, and cardiac […]



“I Wish They Had Talked” – A Caregiver Story

Editor’s Note: Names and details in the following caregiver story have been altered to protect patient privacy. My involvement with this patient’s care began after his surgery, after he was unable to breathe without a ventilator. Tom was a 69-year-old man who had lived a very active life.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending […]



Importance of the Advance Care Planning Discussion (Part II)

Editor’s Note: This post is the second in a two-part series about the importance of discussing a patient’s wishes during the advance care planning process. This part speaks more to patients and families while the first part was directed toward doctors and caregivers. Your mom, your spouse, your best friend tells you, “I have an […]



Importance of the Advance Care Planning Discussion (Part I)

Editor’s Note: This post is the first in a two-part series about the importance of discussing a patient’s wishes during the advance care planning process. The first part speaks more to doctors, nurses and caregivers while the second part will be directed to patients and families. The question is often asked, “Isn’t a signed Power […]