Palliative Care is Pain Control: Ep. 37

What is Palliative Care?

Pastor William “Bill” Harman is our today's guest and he'll tell us more about Palliative Care. You can listen to the show at http://rockyourretirement.libsyn.com/palliative-care-is-pain-control

Bill Harman talks about Palliative Care

Bill Harman talks about Palliative Care

What the heck is Palliative Care?  I'd never heard of it before 2016.

Pastor William “Bill” Harman came on the show to explain Palliative Care to us.

His background is long so I'll summarize his current activities:

  • Center for Global Awareness
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Lives in Encinitas, CA

Bill Harman is the Chaplain with the Palliative Care Team at Scripps Encinitas Hospital. He came on the show to talk to us

What is it?

Palliative Care is not hospice.  It is specialized medical care to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.  This is for conditions that won’t be cured but can be managed. Some diseases include COPD, other respiratory disorders, and cancer.

Why would someone want it?

This care is designed for comfort and pain management. It is for the seriously ill, but for those who are trying to get better.  Palliative care helps minimize pain and discomfort.  90% of hospitals that have over 300 beds have a palliative care program.

What does a Chaplain do?

Chaplains are educators.  Chaplains provide spiritual care, and educate people about end of life.  Bill is familiar with 55 religious preferences and helps facilitate the dying’s wishes.  Bill said that according to the “happiness index”, Bhutan is the happiest country because of how they deal with death. Chaplains deal with human issues, not necessary religion.

Why does it even exist?

In the 1950s, people died earlier.  Now we are extending life.  As we extend life we need to answer questions for ourselves.  If we want to extend our own lives longer, then palliative care can help with the discomfort and pain we feel because of disease.

Who pays for it?

Although Medicare pays for the bulk of palliative care, there are pediatric palliative care teams at certain hospitals.


To hear the both stories in full, listen to the episode on iTunes, Stitcher, or Podcast Addict.  For instructions on how to listen on your smartphone, go HERE.

Surfer Story:  Bill told us a story about a surfer who had cancer.  He wasn’t going to survive and he wanted to spend one more night on the beach.  The team was able to get him to the beach to help accommodate his last wish.

Hawaii Story:  Bill told us of another patient who wanted to go to Hawaii.  The team wasn’t able to send him to Hawaii, but they DID throw a Hawaiian party for her.

Marriage:  Another story was how a patient wanted to see his daughter get married.  Many of the things that the team did was similar to Make a Wish.

Bill can be reached at Harman.William@ScrippsHealth.org

Today’s Freebie:  http://RockYourRetirement.com/Pain

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