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Education Channel

The Education Channel of Growth House Radio has a talk radio format featuring interviews and other spoken education with some music interludes. To learn more about the use of music in care of the sick, check our overview page for music thanatology. You can support our work by buying books or music here, by the way. We receive a small commission on sales to help us keep afloat. Click any book cover or CD to place an order.

music speaker iconThe Hospice Cap (32:26)
  The "hospice cap" is the maximum average cost per patient that Medicare will reimburse. Does this cap on average treatment costs limit good patient care, or is it just a commonsense financial control? As hospices provide care for a wider range of patients, costs can be more difficult to predict. Medical journalist Larry Beresford discusses the pros and cons of cap issues with Les Morgan of Growth House in this interview that also touches on other aspects of hospice finance.
music speaker iconUsing "Go Wish" Cards for Advance Care Planning (40:32)
  "Go Wish" cards are a simple tool to enable advance care planning conversations. This podcast gives a realistic example of their use, with tips on issues that often come up in such planning. Hospice physician Elizabeth Menkin, M.D., has Les Morgan of Growth House use the cards to discuss his own preferences for end of life care. The "Go Wish" cards are available from the Coda Alliance.
music speaker iconOnline Social Networking in Health Care (22:18)
  Les Morgan of Growth House interviews Val Jones, M.D., on ways doctors and health care consumers are using online social networking services. Topics covered include sites like Twitter, online support groups, the micropractice movement, and benefits of medical blogs to combat misinformation on the internet.
music speaker iconUnderstanding Advance Directive Paperwork (32:02)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, hospice physician Elizabeth Menkin, M.D., explains the paperwork needed for advance care planning. Forms may include a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA), Directives to Physicians, and various types of Physician Orders (POs) such as a Physician's Order to Permit Natural Dying (POPND). Forms discussed are available from the Coda Alliance and the Center for Practical Bioethics.
music speaker iconStanley Terman, M.D., on Voluntary Refusal of Food and Fluids (40:07)
The Best Way To Say Goodbye In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, psychiatrist Stanley Terman, M.D., discusses why some terminally-ill people stop eating and drinking when life is coming to an end. Psychiatric assessment for depression, anorexia nervosa, mental competence, and control needs should be made in these cases. Issues covered include the legality and ethics of this choice, medical effects of dehydration and ketosis, how the family may respond to the patient's decision, assisted feeding of dementia patients, and advance care planning, Dr. Terman's book The Best Way To Say Goodbye covers these issues in detail.
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music speaker iconElizabeth Menkin, M.D., On Conflict Over Removal Of Feeding Tubes (27:19)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, Dr. Elizabeth Menkin explains some of the ways that disputes about removal of feeding tubes can arise, and how to deal with them. Disagreements can arise due to differences in information and assumptions. The interview covers the importance of planning ahead to document your wishes, use of ethics committees and palliative care consultations as tools for resolving conflicts, examples of decisionmaking in end-stage dementia and minimally conscious states, and how to help families sort out values using the innovative "Go Wish Cards" that are available from the Coda Allicance ( Dr. Menkin is a hospice physician with extensive experience in the field.
music speaker iconBill Colby On Tube Feeding (22:07)
The Long Goodbye In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, Bill Colby discusses artificial nutrition and hydration, including feeding tubes and withdrawl of life-sustaining treatments. The segment also covers emotional attitudes about food in caregiving, eating problems in Alzheimer's Disease, effects of dehydration at end of life, voluntary stopping of eating by hospice patients, and positive ways to include food in hospice care. Attorney Bill Colby represented the family of Nancy Cruzan, the only right-to-die case ever to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. His book Long Goodbye covers the Cruzan case in detail. Visit the Center for Practical Bioethics (formerly known as the Midwest Bioethics Center) to download the advance care planning workbook Bill mentions in his interview. Read the Growth House book review.
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music speaker iconSacred Passage (Duration: 5:54)
Sacred PassageAuthor Margaret Coberly, a hospice nurse, reads from her book Sacred Passage, on how to provide fearless, compassionate care for the dying from a Buddhist perspective. Check the full Growth House review.
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music speaker iconKelly Lockwood: About Music Thanatology (11:30)
In an interview done by Les Morgan of Growth House, harpist Kelly Lockwood gives an overview of how music is used in care of the dying. Kelly explains why music has unique value in care, the types of music and chant that are used, how musicians can get involved with hospice care, and her ow? training at the Chalice of Repose project in Missoula, Montana.
music speaker iconDancing on Quicksand: About human dignity
Dancing on QuicksandHere's a realistic memoir of what it's like to care for someone with progressive dementia due to Alzheimer's Disease. The book is told from the point of view of a caretaker with no prior experience of this sort. Author Marilyn Mitchell reads us this segment in which she talks about what human dignity really means. To hear more readings from this book, check the full Growth House review.
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Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying
Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying Originally created as three, hour-long audio documentaries for national radio broadcast, this wonderful education resource is now available on CD. It will make a great training tool for hospice volunteers, health care professionals, and anyone else who wants to learn about key issues in end-of-life care in an entertaining, easy-to-absorb format. The series draws from over 80 hours of tape and includes remarkable moments with people who are facing death, their families and those who are helping them along the journey. While the stories are personal, the themes are universal as we all struggle to come to terms with the passing of friends, family members, and ultimately, ourselves. It examines the barriers to good care that arise from cultural misunderstanding, from fear over the use of morphine and other drugs, and from lack of funding to pay for good programs. It provides ideas, examples and inspiration for those who are searching for a good path on the journey to death. "Heart-to-Heart" was produced and directed by Claire Schoen, who has made it possible for us to share some segments of the series with you on Growth House radio. We are playing an excerpt on pain control that helps dispel common myths that many people -- including doctors -- have about pain medications.
music speaker iconJoanne Lynn interview by Jacqueline Marcell (15:16)
 In an interview done by Jacqueline Marcell for her own internet radio show Coping With Caregiving, Joanne Lynn, M.D., discusses major issues in end-of-life care in the United States, and explains why some parts of the health care system have serious problems in delivering quality care for the dying. Visit the Palliative Care Policy Center.
music speaker iconHospice Veterans Partnership Initiative (10:22)
 One in four American? who die each year was a veteran. Learn about a new initiative of the U. S. Veterans Health Administration to work more closely with community hospice providers to improve care for veterans. This interview by Les Morgan of Growth house with Diane Jones of Ethos Consulting Group also covers new VA directives that require creation of palliative care consulting teams at all VA facilities.
music speaker iconBill Colby on Living Wills (12:16)
The Long Goodbye Is contract law really the best model for planning health care at the end of life? Probably not, as attorney Bill Colby explains in this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House. Bill explains the ups and downs of living wills and power of attorney for health care using feeding tubes as an example of a controversial type of care. Some approaches to advance planning may not get you the results you expect. How detailed should a living will be? Is it best to focus on simply naming someone you trust to make decisions for you? This interview also notes the growing interest in end of life care among persons with a strong interest in right to life issues, and suggests how important it is to discuss your preferences for care with your family, your health care providers, and your pastoral care providers to ensure everyone is on the same wavelength. Bill's book, Long Goodbye, includes a discussion guide that can help you think through these difficult topics.
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music speaker iconMarsha Hurst On Patient Advocates (17:08)
  Learn how Patient Advocates can help you get the health care you need for yourself or for someone you love. Advocates work as change agents in many different ways in the health care industry. This interview by Les Morgan of Growth House with Marsha Hurst, Director of the Health Advocacy Program at Sarah Lawrence College, concentrates on how you can make use of Patient Advocates in a hospital setting. It also covers use of private advocates and how hospitals must adhere to a "Patient Bill of Rights." Visit for more information about health advocacy.
music speaker iconJon Fuller interview: The U. S. health care system and chronic care (24:28)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, geriatrician Jon Fuller, M.D., discusses how our health care system, which was designed primarily to provide acute care, often fails those with chronic conditions. Jon offers ideas on how better care could be given at the end of life if we spend our money differently. You can download this interview as a podcast.
music speaker iconJon Keyserling on proposed Bush FY2007 cuts to hospice funding (16:19)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, Jon Keyserling, Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, explains the proposed cuts to hospice funding in President Bush's FY2007 budget. You can download this interview as a podcast.
music speaker iconRosemary Gibson On Medical Errors (26:57)
Wall of Silence In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth house, author Rosemary Gibson discusses how medical mistakes kill 100,000 Americans each year -- equivalent to a 747 plane crash daily. Rosemary explains the most common types of mistake and gives tips on how you can avoid becoming a statistic. Special issues for hospice and terminal care include the importance of watching medications closely and how the hospice interdisciplinary team may be a good model for how to prevent errors in other health care settings. Read the Growth House book review. You can download this interview as a podcast.
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Uncovering Compassion
Nina Livingstone: Uncovering Compassion

Nina Livingstone is a hospice chaplain. She has recorded several guided meditations specifically intended to help you notice and develop your ability to provide compassionate service. Her non-denominational approach to Uncovering Compassion is well-suited for use by hospice volunteers. Nina also has a series of one-minute tips for caregivers on awareness and self-care recorded for radio use. These radio spots are not on the CD, but you can listen to them here. Nina's brief suggestions can help you take better care of yourself and improve your caregiving at the same time. Listen to Nina's tips on remembering the need for self-care, naming what you are doing, using waiting time to refresh you, listening to others, and wanting nothing from others

music speaker iconEthical Issues in Hospice Care (29:03)
  This interview by Les Morgan of Growth House with ethics consultant JoAnne Reifsnyder explains how having a structured process for making ethical decisions can help hospice staff face tough situations that have no easy answers. JoAnne covers common dilemmas such as telling someone they are dying, tube feeding, and requests for hastened death. JoAnne also discusses the importance of involving the whole family in advance care planning to prevent family disputes at the end of life. For more information about ethical decision processes in hospice care visit the Ethos Consulting Group web site at
music speaker iconTrue Ryndes On Hospice Case Management (20:11)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth house, True Ryndes explains how hospice case managers protect patient interests across institutional boundaries, improving continuity of care. True Ryndes is President of the National Hospice Work Group and co-author of a major study that you can download on "Hospice Access and Values".
music speaker iconBill Colby On Advance Planning (17:26)
The Long Goodbye Attorney Bill Colby represented the family of Nancy Cruzan, the only right-to-die case ever to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. His book Long Goodbye covers the Cruzan case in detail. In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth house, Bill explains legal issues in end-of-life care and gives practical advice on living wills, power of attorney, health care proxies, and other key ideas on how you can plan ahead for difficult decisions. Visit the Center for Practical Bioethics (formerly known as the Midwest Bioethics Center) to download the advance care planning workbook Bill mentions in his interview. Read the Growth House book review.
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music speaker iconChristy Whitney on Paying for Hospice Care (28:50)
  How will you pay for the care you need at the end of life? Dying can be expensive, and money worries are very common when someone is seriously sick. In this interview Les Morgan of Growth House discusses the financial aspects of hospice care with Christy Whitney, the President and CEO of Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado. Christy has been a hospice administrator for over twenty years, and she's an expert on hospice finance. Christy explains that many supportive benefits are available to you to ease the financial burden. Christy explains the Medicare hospice benefit, Medicaid programs, sliding-scale services for the uninsured, and special hospice services that support caregivers at the end of life such as respite care. Listen in as Christy does a financial benefits analysis on four sample cases that highlight different scenarios for hospice care.
music speaker iconRex Greene on Palliative Care in the Acute Hospital (18:08)
  The acute care hospital is a bastion of curative technology. In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, Rex Greene, M.D., discusses how the palliative care team at Mills-Peninsula Hospital in San Mateo, California, integrates with other hospital services. Rex also explains how his palliative care team partners with local hospice and home care agencies to provide continuity of care across organizational boundaries. His innovative open approach inviting local providers to staff meetings to build strong working relationships across agencies.
music speaker iconCarol Barker on TeleHospice (18:38)
  In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth House, Carol Barker, RN, PhD, explains how telehospice methods can be used to increase access and improve care quality for home-based clients over broad geographic areas in a cost-effective manner. A national study on "Hospice Access and Values" argues that telehospice can play an important role in improving access to palliative care. In addition to use in individual patient homes, it can be used in long-term institutional settings such as nursing homes. Carol is Director of Education and Research at the Hospice of Michigan, which uses telehospice in both rural and urban settings. Les is an expert on the use of information systems for end-of-life care. The interview covers what TeleHospice is, costs and benefits, funding ideas, implementation strategies, and where hospice telemedicine is going.
music speaker iconAdvice for hospice workers (1:50)
Nancy Jaicks Alexander summarizes twenty years of hospice experience in this two-minute segment of advice for health care professionals and volunteers working with dying people. Nancy was a member of the K�bler-Ross workshop and training staff, helped found the first prison hospice, and speaks from the heart about how to give compassionate care. If you want to contact Nancy, you can write to her at the following address: Compassionate Seeing, P.O. Box 5534, Berkeley, California 94705.
music speaker iconDealing With Loss
Where Souls Meet Hospice educator Dillon Woods reads a selection from his audiobook Where Souls Meet on recognizing change and loss as a gift of life. Also covers the importance of taking care of yourself when you are a caregiver for others. Check the full Growth House review.
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Podcast button
A podcast is an audio recording that you can listen to on your computer or portable digital media player. To listen to a selection, click the title and it should begin playing on your computer. To save the audio file, do a right click and select "Save target as". These audio files are free, and you may redistribute them so long as you do not modify them, and give credit to Growth House, Inc.
Handbook for Mortals
Handbook for MortalsThis is the book we recommend most often for general public education about the end of life. Read the full text online or listen to these audio samples provided by our friends at Americans for Better Care of the Dying.
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music speaker icon How to talk with your physician about pain
You're more likely to get effective pain relief if you can describe your pain fully. Here are some tips on how to describe what you are experiencing.
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music speaker icon How we die - then and now
Can your doctor predict how much time you have left? Probably not, as this educational piece on prognosis issues explains. It also gives advice on what to do even if things aren't very clear.
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music speaker iconBed sores
Anyone who must remain in a bed or chair for long periods of time may develop bed sores. They aren't very nice, so here are some tips on how to prevent them.
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