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Keywords

barriers, bucket list, end-of-life, goals of care conversations, medical tourism, medical travel, palliative care, preferred place of death

 

Authors

  1. Aisporna, Cheryl MSN, RN
  2. Erickson-Hurt, Carma DNP, ACHPN

Abstract

Patients at end of life often express a desire to travel, and many have requests that go unfulfilled. Studies show that a majority of patients have a desire to return to their place of birth to die when presented with the option, yet goals-of-care conversations do not routinely include travel desires for numerous reasons. Patients faced with a life-limiting illness are at greater risk of depression, withdrawal, denial, anger, and feelings of helplessness. When palliative care teams assist patients with end-of-life travel, they empower them with a greater sense of control over the dying process. Improving goals-of-care conversations regarding medical travel begins with well-developed communication skills and a knowledge of available options. This article primarily focuses on the recommendation of medical travel as a goals-of-care comfort measure for the palliative care patient.