End-of-life hospice care underused

HealthDay News

As appeared in Forbes, Business Week, and the Washington Post. “People need to understand that hospice is about living,” Gazelle said. “It’s about living as well as you can when life has dealt you a bad deck of cards. Having your dignity, your quality of life, as little physical and emotional suffering as possible — that’s what hospice can do for people.” “Hospice care is underutilized — only a third of Americans die under the care of hospice, and hospice care is free,” noted the author of one article, Dr. Gail Gazelle, assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. “Far too often, patients end up in an ICU, rushed to the emergency room, and they end up dying there, when really they would much rather have died in their own home,” she added. “To know that their family is going to be attended to is critically important for people near the end of life,” said Gazelle, who is also president of the medical advocacy group MD Can Help.

Patients complain that doctors talk too much about themselves. First impressions make a difference…

American Medical News

Regarding an article about how doctors greet new patients, Dr. Gazelle is quoted: “The introductory phase sets the stage for what comes after that. Patients respond to cues from their doctors. If the doctor says, ‘Hello, it’s nice to see you,’ that sets a very different tone than a doctor rushing into a room with, ‘What’s going on?’

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