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In celebration of Nursing Week, Dr. K interviews Debbie-Moore Black, an ICU nurse and blogger keen to speak out about important issues in healthcare.
Key Takeaways ● Urged by the issues she’s seen in her many years as an ICU nurse, Debbie Moore-Black created “Do Not Resuscitate,” a blog about harmful behaviours in healthcare that she thinks need to be stopped. ● A major focus of her work is exploring peaceful death and futile care. As an ICU nurse, she has seen family members inadvertently cause unnecessary suffering to their family members by insisting that they continue care. ● Ultimately, her goal is to educate others and raise awareness about these issues. She also wants others to realize how important it is for them to speak out too, and to overcome stigma about uncomfortable topics. A Closer Look Do Not Resuscitate
With 34 years of experience, Debbie Moore-Black has seen her fair share of the difficulties and triumphs of the intensive care unit (ICU).
Faced with many issues in the healthcare system, she created “Do Not Resuscitate,” a blog where she discusses many of these issues.
One of her main focuses is on futile care. She has seen, too many times, family members insist upon continuing to care for a loved one that will only cause them harm, she says. Eventually, she found herself morally obliged to retire because of this. These moral issues might be driving away many talented healthcare professionals from doing the job they’re meant to do. This is causing many people to suffer, she says, and we have to stop it. One way to do so is by encouraging everyone to have a will and power of attorney clearly delineated far in advance of illness. Through her blog, Mrs. Moore-Black tries to raise awareness about issues that she thinks are worth discussing, such as homophobia, racism and ageism in healthcare.
Her emotional and insightful blog posts have attracted tens of thousands of followers from many fields including physicians and non-healthcare professionals. o Many of her followers have gone on to, for example, draw up wills and now spread the word about the importance of doing so. For her personally, blogging has been a fantastic way to speak her mind.
“It’s my therapy,” she says jokingly.
An important part of her coping with the difficulties of the ICU involved blogging about it.
It is also, however, a way to celebrate the triumphs and paint a full picture of the ward as a place of both hardships but also a celebration.
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