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Palliative care and the needs of cancer and non-cancer patients
Pages 16 (4016 words)
It is always prudent and worthwhile for families of patients with progressive and advanced diseases to reflect and consider palliative care for their love ones especially if these patients have very limited prognosis of survival. Not to hasten or postpone death, palliative care initiatives aim to mitigate suffering and assist the patient and family obtain the best possible quality of life in the midst of physical pain and deterioration and emotional and psychological grief brought on by the debilitating disease…
Nevertheless, efforts to lengthen life or to comfort are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Many patients who receive palliative care feel better and live longer than expected.
The boundary between "cure" and "care" is cultivated by eligibility rules for hospice benefits established by the federal government and private insurers to limit expenditures for palliative care. Confining palliative care to those who are expected to live no longer than six months creates pointless misery for many patients. It also unjustifiably weighs down clinicians who, in several circumstances, cannot precisely and truthfully calculate whether a seriously ill patient will live three months, six months, a year, two years, or even longer. This rigid division between cure and care likewise discourages suffering patients from requesting palliative care.
Based on the model definition of the Canadian Palliative Care Association, the term palliative care has been characterised as "a philosophy of care and combination of therapies intended to suppo ...
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