Special Series: Tribute to J Randall Curtis
- Outcomes after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) remain poor. We have spent 10 years investigating an “informed assent” (IA) approach to discussing CPR with chronically ill patients/families. IA is a discussion framework whereby patients extremely unlikely to benefit from CPR are informed that unless they disagree, CPR will not be performed because it will not help achieve their goals, thus removing the burden of decision-making from the patient/family, while they retain an opportunity to disagree.
- Palliative care research is deeply challenging for many reasons, not the least of which is the conceptual and operational difficulty of measuring outcomes within a seriously ill population such as critically ill patients and their family members. This manuscript describes how Randy Curtis and his network of collaborators successfully confronted some of the most vexing outcomes measurement problems in the field, and by so doing, have enhanced clinical care and research alike. Beginning with a discussion of the clinical challenges of measurement in palliative care, we then discuss a selection of the novel measures developed by Randy and his collaborators and conclude with a look toward the future evolution of these concepts.
- It is a true privilege to work with a colleague who can consistently teach and inspire those around him. We are fortunate to have worked with Dr. J. Randall (“Randy”) Curtis for most of our careers. We have been his mentees, collaborators, peers, and – for the past seven years – his co-Directors on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) palliative care research training grant.1 In these roles, we have watched Randy mentor and advise over 50 trainees and faculty who share his goals of advancing clinical research and improving the experiences of patients with serious illness and their families.