During this formative period of the creation of a comprehensive framework of surgical palliative care, critical guidance and mentoring was freely and graciously given by a triumvirate of individuals, David Weissman, Ira Byock, and Charles Von Gunten, all of whom possessed qualities welcomed by surgeons—dry humor, rigorous intellect, and effectiveness in their undertakings. All of them were well known palliative care clinicians, researchers, and educators who had demonstrated an interest in surgery and surgeons. Through their network of connections surgeons found a seat at the table with the non-surgical disciplines in the final years of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) funding for end-of-life care initiatives.
Some of the current initiatives by the CSPC include preparing a more readily available pathway for surgeons to pursue fellowship training in hospice and palliative medicine, identification of quality indicators of surgical palliative care, and revision of the current 30-day mortality and morbidity surgical outcome measure to better accommodate palliative surgical interventions.
Krouse R, Easson A, Angelos P. Ethical considerations and barriers to research in surgical palliative care. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Mar. 2003. Vol. 196, No. 3: 469-474.