Wheeling Hospital, Diocese Host End-of-Life Seminar

By Tim Bishop

WHEELING—Clergy, religious and pastoral care professionals of all denominations attended a seminar held at Wheeling Hospital July 9 to address how to provide the special support needed by patients and their loved ones in end-of-life situations.

The seminar was titled “Ministering to Those at the End of Life: Calling, Caring and Compassion” and was hosted by Wheeling Hospital and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Presenters said pastoral care professionals, clergy and other religious care givers are often called upon to provide spiritual care, emotional support and assistance with end-of-life decision making for the dying and their loved ones. Presenters offered education designed to help pastoral care givers better address the spiritual and emotional needs of people facing such challenging situations.

Those in attendance received information on common end-of-life conditions and medical terminology, as well as the ethical issues that often arise when discussing end-of-life decision making, especially with regard to life-sustaining medical treatment.

“Medicolegal concerns, such as advance directives, do-not-resuscitate orders and advance medical orders were discussed,” said Dr. Valerie Satkoske, director of Ethics at Wheeling Hospital. “Special attention was given to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, in particular Part Five: Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying.”

Presenters for the seminar included E. Phillips Polack, MD, who spoke about palliative and supportive care; Bryan Woodford, RN, who spoke about the common ethical issues that arise at the end of life; Bruce Archer, JD, and Satkoske, who spoke about advance directives and andvanced medical orders; David Kappel, MD, who spoke abut ethics consultation at the end of life; and Father Peter Raposo, who spoke about caring for the dying and their loved ones.