Nov 292012

On Wednesday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed University of Chicago geriatrician Dr. William Dale about “End-Of-Life Medical Choices.” The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Podcast: 28 November 2012

Many people struggle with difficult decisions about complex medical problems as they near the end of their lives. That time is wrenching for family too. How can people make good decisions about medical care? What mistakes should they try to avoid? How can people prepare for that future now?

Dr. William Dale is a geriatrician at The University of Chicago Medicine with a doctorate in health policy and extensive experience in oncology. He has devoted his career to the care of older adults with cancer – particularly prostate cancer. Dr. Dale has a special interest in the identification and treatment of vulnerable older patients who have complex medical conditions, including cancer. He is actively researching the interactions of cancer therapies with changes associated with aging.

Listen or Download:


  • Dr. Dale’s work
  • End-of-life challenges for the patient
  • End-of-life challenges for others
  • The choice of more versus less treatment
  • Doctors telling patients the whole truth
  • What patients can do to get more and better information
  • Patients’ regrets about treatment
  • The importance of knowing one’s own preferences
  • Dealing with family problems
  • Living will versus power of attorney
  • Talking to the person with your power of attorney
  • The emotions of dealing with death
  • Being a supportive and reasonable family member
  • Conflicts between in-town-and out-of-town family
  • Conflicts in the family over care
  • The “five stages of grief”
  • Differences between ethnic groups about end-of-life care


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