The Bereavement Committee at Boston Medical Center provides compassionate, culturally appropriate care and support to patients, families and staff before and after a patients death. The multidisciplinary committee develops and directs programs and has resources available to help people who have recently lost a loved one.
The committee, along with Volunteer Services arranges for volunteer companions who are part of the Compassionate Companion Program to play a supportive role in end-of-life care by providing a comforting presence for those who are alone or whose families or friends are unable to be present while someone is passing. With the Decedent Affairs Office, it publishes a Bereavement Guide (PDF) filled with practical information for surviving relatives and/or close friends of patients who have recently died. The Bereavement Committee also works with many departments hospital wide to help educate staff and patients on matters involving end-of-life care and using documents that allow others to make decisions for patients (advanced directives) who cannot speak for themselves.