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Houston Matters

Preparing Caregivers For Difficult Conversations About Death

An upcoming event offers advice for medical professionals and interpreters who serve dying patients and their families.


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It's a moment many of us will, sadly, have to face in our lives. A loved one is dying, and a doctor informs us there's nothing more to be done.

It's shocking when it's the result of a sudden accident or an unexpected medical event. But it's no less heartbreaking for families of someone who's experienced a long illness.

No matter what the circumstances, that moment is, well, hard to swallow.

It's also difficult news to deliver — and not every doctor or caregiver is good at it. But they're also not the only ones asked to deliver such news.

Imagine this scenario: A doctor has to tell loved ones a patient is dying, and the family speaks another language. Now, the news has to be delivered through an interpreter.

On Monday, July 29, the nonprofit Jung Center will host an event designed to offer advice for medical professionals and interpreters who serve patients and families in such moments. It’s called Serving People at the Moment of Death – An Awesome & Fearful Privilege.

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn learns more about the event and the challenges it aims to address with two guests: