Essay about Hospice in the United States

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Hospice in the United States

Hospice is a concept of caring borrowed from medieval times, where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. The contemporary hospice offers a program of care to patients and families facing a life threatening illness encompassing medical, nursing, spiritual, and psychological care. It is more than a medical alternative, it is an attitude toward death and the process of dying. Terminal disease is managed so patients can live comfortably until they die. The hospice program in the United States has evolved in part as an attempt to compensate for the inadequacies of the present medical system, particularly in caring for patients with a terminal illness. Hospice care has
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The patient must be as symptom-free as possible in order to enjoy the remaining portion of their life as fully and comfortably as is possible. Physicians, nurses and other health care employees must be easily accessible to the patient and family. The same health care team should provide care for the patient, whether at home or in the hospital. The patient’s and family’s life style must be preserved, and their life philosophies respected by the health care practitioners. The loneliness, isolation and fears of abandonment are to be expected and should be dealt with accordingly. No one person can fully meet the needs of the dying patient, instead, a multidisciplinary team must be available to deal with any needs the patient or family may have. The patient should be treated as a person, not a disease. The family must receive adequate support to help in coping with the impending loss of a loved one. The terminally ill patient must be allowed to give as well as receive. The self-respect, identity and freedom of the dying patient should be built up. The family must feel a sense of participation in care giving and in the decision-making. The primary care person attending to a patient at home needs support and occasional relief. Several issues pertaining to hospice care that are worthy of discussion are individuality, quality of life, palliative care, assisted suicide, access to hospice, benefits of

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