The more I learn about palliative care, the more I’m persuaded it’s a lot like mediation.
- Palliative care allows terminally ill patients to spend their last months (or less) without intensive and often intrusive medical interventions.
- Mediation enables parties to settle their dispute without interminable and costly trials.
Neither the mediator nor the palliative care physician is a “fixer.”
- Decision-making is left to the individual – be she a terminally or seriously ill patient (or family members) or parties to a case. A terminally ill patient who opts for palliative care implicitly agrees to take responsibility for how they wish to spend their remaining days.
- When parties mediate, they become the decision-makers in the case and take some responsibility for moving toward resolution.