December 27, 2022

A good death, living well, and psychedelic therapy in palliative care with Anthony Back, M.D.

 

On this episode of the Psychedelic Therapy Frontiers podcast, Dr. Joe Flanders interviews Dr. Anthony Back, M.D. Dr. Back is a co-founder of VitalTalk, a national nonprofit that provides innovative, interactive clinician and faculty development courses to improve communication skills on an individual and institutional level. Dr. Back is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Back earned his MD at Harvard University. He is triple-board certified in hospice and palliative medicine, medical oncology, and general internal medicine. In his role as a medical communication educator and a VitalTalk co-founder, Dr. Back was the principal investigator for Oncotalk, co-wrote Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients, released the first iPhone app for clinician communication skills, and authored the online communication skills curriculum offered by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

(3:00) Dr. Back introduces himself
(6:55) What is palliative care?
(9:06) Improving quality of life and having a good death
(15:30) The applications of psychedelics for end-of-life care
(17:35) Dr. Back’s article, “What psilocybin taught me about dying”
(21:00) Materialist vs spiritualist views of life and death
(29:14) Roland Griffiths’ cancer diagnosis
(34:07) Gratitude for cancer
(38:22) How psychedelics might help people at end-of-life
(55:23) Randomized trial of psilocybin for health care practitioners with depression
(01:01:07) How do you train a health care practitioner in good palliative care?
(01:07:51) How do we scale psychedelic-assisted therapy?

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