The New York Times recently ran an article titled “Helping Patients Face Death, She Fought to Live“. The article told the story of Dr. Desiree Pardi’s experience dealing with breast cancer, and how she “angrily refused” palliative care consultation when confronted with the advanced nature of her underlying cancer. What makes this story so provocative is that Dr. Pardi was the palliative care medical director at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Many questions are raised but there is little to help with the reconciling “Desiree Pardi palliative care doctor who believed in a peaceful death, with Desiree Pardi the patient who wanted to keep fighting.”
Well today, thanks to our colleagues at Pallimed, we hear from Dr. Pardi’s husband, Robert. He very eloquently clears up some of the misconceptions about Dr. Pardi’s decisions. He also does something that we as a community have difficulty with – describing to the general public the role of palliative care:
Please understand Palliative Care is about providing people the information they need (and avoiding false hope) so each and every one of us can make a decision about how we want to deal with a chronic disease. It is about quality in life and quality in death and tailoring a medical plan to achieve those goals.
The Times piece and the Pallimed posts are well worth the read. As Rob Pardi states in his comment on Pallimed: “One thing my wife wanted was for people to learn, to discuss, to explore the concept of palliative care based on her illness and I am thankful so many of you are discussing.” So, please join the discussion…