Homage to Martin Luther King, Jr for Palliative Care

Genie Bottle outlineI have a dream that every person with serious illness will understand what palliative care has to offer and has services available. I have a dream that every bedside clinician has the skills to talk to patients about goals of care, and knows the basics of asking permission, responding to, delivering difficult news, and sorting out decisions based on patient wishes and values.

I have a dream that people with serious illness will not face needless suffering from the isolating nature of illness. People will not be told “there is nothing more we can do for you.” People with serious illness will not be shipped off to tertiary care for more exams or intrusive treatments because local clinicians do not know another way to reduce suffering.

I have a dream that there is equitable access to palliative care for all Washingtonians, and health care plans, including Medicare, cover services in any location and provided by any discipline on the team.

I have a dream that WA leads the nation in rural palliative care services and has the most robust health plan benefits.

I have a dream that CMS changes their policy on chaplain services and recognizes the importance of spiritual health in serious illness.

I have a dream that every health care organization leader understands palliative care and the value it offers, as well as how it integrates with other parts of the healthcare system.

I have a dream that every seriously ill child has a way to go home with the right services offered locally with support via telehealth from tertiary providers as needed.

I have a dream that all families, whether by blood or by choice, feel deeply honored in the process of palliative care delivery, while staying clear that patient wishes are primary.

I have a dream that all healthcare training includes palliative care skills and knowledge at a meaningful level.

I have a dream that rural youth will enter healthcare professions to serve the local community and will be skilled to offer palliative care.

I have a dream that no one will suffer alone without someone they can call, and no one will die alone.