Despite the many years since Hospice care was started in the United States many misconceptions persist regarding the appropriate time to initiate Hospice. I have served as a Medical Director in Hospice for over 20 years and have seen an evolution in the understanding of Hospice care. However, despite the fact that over 1.4 million people are served yearly in Hospice care, there is a continued resistance, fear and misunderstanding of what Hospice care is all about. One of the biggest misconceptions is that Hospice is provided only when one is at the brink of death. Another issue we constantly deal with is that with Hospice care we are “giving up” on the patient.
With the continued growth of the elderly population and the expanding treatment solutions technology continues to provide, there will continue to be a need for guidance in what type of medical interventions will allow terminal patients to get the best non-futile care possible.
See the article below for further insight into issues revolving around this topic.