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End-of-Life Communication in the ICU

December 11th, 2007

This week marks a milestone.  Both my husband, Robert A. Fink, M.D., F.A.C.S., and I have been published in the same book!  Edited by Dr. David W. Crippen, End-of-Life Communication in the ICU offers numerous multinational perspectives on End-of-Life issues. Dr. Fink  Fink addresses what healthcare practitioners can do to avoid emotionally and fiscally painful (for doctor and patient) malpractice cases (chapter title is “Medical Liability Issues in Dealing with Critical Care Patients in the End-of-Life Situation”); while I outline vital emotional aspects of working with families and the critically ill in the ICU (chapter title “Emotions in the Intensive Care Unit”).

End-of-life issues are becoming increasingly important as the critical mass of Baby Boomers crosses the Senior Citizen line. Also, advances in technology have led to a global network of physicians in which information, data and practices can be openly shared to help ensure high-quality care, something that is vitally important to everyone.End-of-Life Communication in the ICU (New York, NY: Springer Science  Business Media, LLC, 2008  ISBN 978-0-387-72965-7) addresses the multiplicity of perspectives that can assist in decision-making processes in the Intensive Care Units of the world. In it, a diverse group of leaders in the international ICU community examines how different cultures view death, explores how healthcare providers around the world communicate to patients and family members, and investigates other aspects about the emotional, ethical and legal complexities of making end-of-life decisions.

Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery (University of California, San Francisco) Robert A. Fink, M.D., F.A.C.S., has been practicing neurosurgery in the San Francisco (East) Bay Area for over 35 years. With specialty training at the University of Chicago, he became one of medicine’s “young whippersnappers” in the 1960’s, demonstrating the at-that-time-unheard-of-ability to have neurosurgical patients awake and functioning shortly after undergoing surgery.  He practiced in several Bay Area hospitals, becoming Chief of Surgery at Herrick Hospital, Berkeley, where he practiced “trauma medicine” and cared for auto accident victims, becoming an expert on gunshot wound repair and also treating a number of celebrity patients.  Dr. Fink is an accomplished musician, storyteller and writer, and is now partially retired from his neurosurgical practice. In addition to his clinical practice, Fink appears as expert witness in both plaintiff and defense medical-legal cases.


 Ilene L. Dillon, M.F.T., L.C.S.W., has been practicing psychotherapy in Marin County for 35 years. With an M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley, Dillon has also worked as a continuing education instructor for California Probation Officers, Nurses and Psychotherapists, has spoken on three continents and has been a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association since 1984, is author of 18 published works focused on emotions, and since 2004 has created and hosted Full Power Living, a web-based radio show now broadcast at www.ideocast.com/  Full Power Living has world-renowned guests, weekly, who help to accomplish Dillon’s mission of “awakening the world to the power and importance of human emotions.”


 If you want to schedule an interview with Dr. Fink or Ilene Dillon, learn more about global end-of-life care issues, or order a copy of End-of-Life Communication in the ICU, contact Ilene Dillon (Ilene@emotionalpro.com) or Dr. Robert Fink (RAFink@attglobal.net) or call 510-262-0777.

 

 

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