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End-of-Life Care Part I: The Importance of Language

End-of-Life-Care Part I The Importance of LanguageEnd-of-Life Care Part I: The Importance of Language

End-of-life care often unwittingly conflicts with the goal of physicians to save lives. Technology, medical advances and treatments are meant to improve survival and function. It is understandable that medical professionals want to do everything possible to save their patients- it is also understandable and admirable that it can be personally difficult to acknowledge when treatment is no longer needed.

End-of-life care plans are the next step- they ease the transition for the patient, their loved ones, and provide a care plan for physicians and caretakers that expressively goes along with the patient’s wishes. They also require an extensive amount of communication between the patients, their loved ones and their caretakers and physicians. And sometimes, communication can be difficult. But failing to talk about it can also hurt the patient in the end.

A study in the International Journal of Clinical Practice examined the language used between physicians, families, and patients when talking about failed treatment options. When discussing death, euphemisms were used almost every time. Even when death was a likely or certain outcome, patients and their families may hear that ‘the prognosis was poor,’ or the disease ‘is progressing,’ or the patient is ‘failing to respond.

It can be extraordinarily difficult to say the words “death” or “dying” when trying to broach the subject of end-of-life care. It is heart-wrenching telling patients when treatment has failed. Euphemisms can ease the brunt of the word for everyone involved. However, it can also delay frank discussion of a patient’s treatment that could negatively affect their personal wishes.

The study suggests asking permission to talk about a prognosis frankly- it can facilitate discussion while respecting individual patient autonomy.

It’s an issue of delicate balance. Is it fair to tell a patient or their loved one they are “critically ill” when they are dying? Is it the responsibility of the physician to facilitate these difficult discussions, or utilize euphemisms if the family is uncomfortable? How do you effectively broach the subject of end-of-life care with patients in a way that is direct and supportive? It’s a discussion that has no simple answer, but we’d love to hear your input.

At K&B Underwriters, our mission goes well beyond providing insurance solutions required to protect senior living facilities in the event of an injury, damage, or loss. As a national program administrator, we are known for our innovative solutions specifically designed for assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities. Our goal is to identify enterprise risks and chart the best route to navigate through a litigious, highly regulated, and always shifting environment. Contact us today for more information about our Independent Living Facilities Insurance (855) 883-6306.

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Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance