Psychedelic Medicine


Psychedelic Medicine and End-of-Life Care

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Thursday, September 28th at 5 pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern >> Log in to Watch the Recording >>

An EXCLUSIVE Panel Discussion For Members Of The Psychedelic Medicine Association:

Psychedelic Medicine and End-of-Life Care

Panel Moderator:

Lynn Marie Morski, MD, JD

President - Psychedelic Medicine Association


Michael D. Fratkin, MD, FAAHPM

Michael D. Fratkin, MD, FAAHPM

Palliative Care Specialist, Humboldt Center for New Growth; Chief Experience Officer & Co-Founder, ResolutionCare

Michael D. Fratkin, MD FAAHPM is a rural palliative care physician with a long history of local innovation, national influence, and a passion to create access for disregarded communities. He has worked for decades in an effort to bridge the psychedelic science to the care of people and their families facing the psychospiritual challenges of serious illness, approaching death, and complex grief.

As an innovator in technology-enabled service delivery, Dr. Fratkin founded ResolutionCare, an inspired interprofessional team based home palliative care program now caring for thousands of people and families in California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah as VyncaCare. The ResolutionCare program was the first to use videoconferencing for home based palliative care and Dr. Fratkin was catalytic and instrumental in helping professionals in hospice and palliative care, as well as primary and specialty practices adapt quickly to the challenges suddenly thrust upon our healthcare system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Fratkin has led teams whose work has been featured on PBS NewsHour, NPR, and the Washington Post. Presentations to peers have included the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, with impactful public facing messages from the TEDx and End Well stages. As the recent past and continuously active chair of the AAHPM Forum on the Safe Use of Psychedelic Assisted Therapies, Dr. Fratkin remains committed to ensuring that people facing serious illness and end of life issues have safe access to all therapies that may ease their suffering and invite healing.

Lou A. Lukas, MD

Lou A. Lukas, MD

Associate Professor of Palliative Medicine and Neurological Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Chief of Palliative Medicine, Nebraska and Western Iowa VA

Dr. Lukas is an associate professor of Palliative Medicine and Neurological Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Chief of Palliative Medicine at the Nebraska and Western Iowa VA. Originally a family doctor, she migrated to palliative medicine when that field was new and had the opportunity to develop a comprehensive palliative care program, and to lead a large hospice before joining the VA.   She became interested in psychedelics for palliative medicine after being a participant in a clinical trial of psilocybin for spiritual development at Johns Hopkins University in 2012. This work led her to become the PI for a new study of psilocybin for the distress related to pancreas cancer. She is now leading a push for “Palliadelic Health: relieving suffering by revealing the mind.”

Chris Adrian, MD, MDiv

Chris Adrian, MD, MDiv

Pediatric Palliative Care physician, Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Chris Adrian is a Pediatric Palliative Care physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Oncology at the University of California San Francisco and as a hospital chaplain at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Children's Hospital of New York, and completed a fellowship in Pediatric Palliative Care at Columbia University Medical Center while simultaneously training in the underground to be a psychedelic guide. He's part of the team at Jamaica Grief Retreats, a group of Jamaican, American, and Canadian clinicians who work with bereaved parents in Jamaica at psychedelic-assisted bereavement retreats.

We asked, you answered, we listened. 

The most commonly requested topic by Psychedelic Medicine Association members is how psychedelic medicines can be used in end-of-life, hospice, and palliative care. And luckily, this is one of the areas in which research with psychedelics has been done and we have findings that we can put into practice.

At the end of a patient’s life, we know they may suffer not only the effects of the disease from which they are dying but also with the myriad of mental concerns they may have regarding death and dying.

Fortunately, a number of studies have taken a look at whether psychedelic therapies may be effective at mitigating some of the end-of-life anxiety patients often face, as well as addressing some of the mental health conditions that can stem from having a terminal illness, like depression. 

This month we are truly fortunate to have some great minds in the hospice and end-of-life fields to help us better understand how psychedelics may be able to play a role in making this difficult time more comfortable for patients. They discussed the following:

  • What kinds of psychedelic therapies have been studied in patients facing terminal illnesses 
  • How treatments were administered (individual vs. group)
  • The results of the trials and the treatment programs
  • What other psychedelic interventions may be helpful

…and much more

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