Palliative/Hospice Care: Necessity Or Extension Of Healthcare

2124 Words 9 Pages
Thesis Palliative/Hospice Care: Necessity or Extension of Healthcare: a topic chosen to obtain clarity of services, while questioning who is benefiting, patients or the healthcare system.
I. Introduction: The Historical Roots of Hospice
In Homeric times (8th century B.C.), all Greeks without exception were regarded as being under the protection of Zeus Xenios, the god of strangers and supplicants. A wanderer would be treated as a guest and offered food, shelter, clothing, and gifts. Violation of the duties of hospitality were likely to provoke the wrath of the gods. (Forman and Kitzes, et. 2003). Patients who were not cured by an itinerant physician, the iatros, could be cared for at a temple to Aesculepius, the god of medicine. In the temple, “incubating” with the gods who would interpret the
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The medical regime, health care organizations and the public are aware of these end-of-life issues, therefore must prioritize it’s needs. The American Medical Association and the Institute of Medicine foundation has devoted millions of dollars to public education on this issue through the Last Acts initiative. (Forman and Kitzes, et. 2003).
This is one reason so many patients enter hospice only in the last days of life. A more reasonable approach would be to have a patient begin Palliative/Hospice care while receiving curative care. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is about to embark on a project to evaluate whether providing hospice services earlier in an illness along with curative care, improves quality of life for patients while reducing Medicare spending. If Palliative/Hospice care were to be provided soon after a terminal diagnosis, there would be more hospice care would be more timely. About a third of hospice patients die within seven days of admission to a Palliative/Hospice program. This short length of stay compromises the quality of care that hospice

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