In this world of hi-tech medical technology, there is some concern patients are still dying in mental and physical anguish.
In many cases, physicians are trained to view death as a failure of medical technology and may be too aggressive in treating dying patients.
Only when a serious illness strikes do families realize that physicians can do little to change outcomes. The truth about what technology is capable of doing and what technology actually accomplishes often comes as a shock.
Better communications between the physician, patient and family members is one way to facilitate less aggressive treatments, do not resuscitate orders, decreasing time spent in a hospital’s intensive care unit, making the patient more comfortable and helping to prepare family members. Be sure to select a physician who feels the way you do about end-of-life acre.
More than 50% of Americans die in hospitals even though they may have intended to stay at home. Many times the family members panic or they have the inability to face the finality of death. However, more appropriate facilities, including extended care centers, nursing homes, and Hospice, provide end-of-life care. Hospice offers end-of-life care with an emphasis on the relief of both physical and mental pain.
Our society has not yet accepted the inevitability of death. Even with advanced technology we still cannot extend our lifespan much beyond 100 years. Significant change in the way we approach end-of-life care will require two difficult adjustments. First, change our cultural attitudes and accept death as a natural phenomenon. Second, increased public pressure for end-of-life care providers to alter their approach to the dying patient. Be sure to select the end-of-life care provider you feel provides patients with a peaceful and dignified death.