Patient Family & Community Engagement | Patient and Care Partners

Before it is over: A family’s experience with end-of-life care during COVID-related restrictive visitation policies

It is not uncommon in the American medical community that a personal narrative sparks a conversation about a controversial topic. In 1988 the Journal of American Medical Association published a narrative by a medical doctor which provoked a debate on euthanasia within the readership of the journal and the greater public. The testimony that I am presenting aims to invite a public dialogue on the harmful effects of restrictive visitation policies brought on by the COVID -19 pandemic. The story of my family’s experience during the end-of-life care for my mother, a COVID patient, illustrates how urgent is the need to rethink the restrictive visitation policies so as to protect patients from unnecessary suffering. In order to battle pandemic-related stress and fatigue medical staff and families must work together to improve patient care.

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