What can a doctor do when there is “nothing left to do?” At the end of Dolly Baker’s life, one doctor asked a question that made all the difference to her, to her care providers and her family. He asked simply and deeply: “what would make today a good day for you?” He got to the heart of his patient, and with deep respect asked what mattered to her, not “what was the matter with her…”
No one on the hospital staff would have guessed that this shrinking 92 year old woman in a hospital Johnny facing the end-of-life was a former jazz singer, who could still scat and croon with the best of them.
How important and yet how rare is this moment. In honor of National Patient Recognition Week (Feb. 1-7) – we’d like to share this incredible exchange featuring Dolly Baker to highlight how humanity at the end-of-life can transform a hospital room into a private concert hall.
Dr. Lachlan Forrow is considered a “Soul Doctor” of internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He also advises The Conversation Project, a public engagement campaign with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care discussed, expressed and respected.
Watch the incredible video: