BJC Hospice in St. Louis has a program which does exactly that! http://www.bjchospice.org/Services/Specialtyprograms/Luminalifereview.aspx
“It’s not just the idea of writing down stories from someone’s life. What made the difference is doing it together and talking about your past life and loving memories while you’re still around to do so. I would not have done that myself and would have missed a wonderful opportunity to share with my husband. The Lumina program made this happen, and I thank everyone for having it available through BJC Hospice.” - Carol, wife of a hospice patient
Interestingly, hospitals are motivated to incorporate palliative care programs largely because fewer patients die in hospitals as a result. When patients understand their disease trajectory and have a choice, they overwhelmingly choose to die at home. By having meaningful, transparent conversations about patient preferences, hospitals can improve measured outcomes - the incentives for palliative care line up nicely (improving outcomes saves money). The question is, how do we foster more meaningful, open doctor-patient relationships? Thanks!
Improving the physical space for families and clinicians is also really important. You made a great point that the impact on clinicians of seeing their patients only in a medicalized context. That reinforces narrow thinking about the disease as opposed to holistic thinking about the person with the disease. Thanks for the great contribution - definitely expanded my thinking!