Nuances that Distinguish Hospice and Palliative Care, in Terms of General Conceptuality and Legal Defining

Published: 2021-09-23 21:10:06
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Palliative care and hospice care are both the same in that they are not curative care, which means that their focus is on alleviating symptoms and removing pain from the patients, and not trying to cure the illness itself. However, it is highly problematic to use these terms interchangeably, since hospice care is certainly distinguished from palliative care in several crucial elements. The most importantly, hospice care is only for individuals who are actively dying, with 6 months or less to live. There is the solid societal reason to distinguish hospice care from palliative care, primarily in that, as for the US Medicare system, hospice cares are eligible to reimbursement while other forms of palliative care are not. In fact, this can be discovered not only from the legal codex, also from the related statistics in real-life, as it must be noted that 35% of Medicare cost in the US federal government is actually spent on few months before the persons’ deaths.
In addition, when it comes to a more nuanced difference, hospice care is more characterized by having accepted that the impending death is now unavoidable, which was actually the reason why it was targeted by societal criticisms upon its appearance in the medical sector. In the meantime, as for these criticisms and the early hospice cares themselves, they also happened to initiate the new spectrum for studies in substance issues, since the real-life results in a hospice were completely against what the medical sector at the time had anticipated: the amount of morphine to be used in hospice cares actually turned out to be less than its counterpart in wards with life support systems.Yet, even the more critical terms that ought not to be used interchangeably are actually the terms “hospice care” and “comfort care.” Even though it is understandable that these terms might be used interchangeably among the populace, especially in that both terms refer to a form of palliative care before someone’s physical death, as for the thanatological perspectives, there exists a very clear and significant reason why we should not use these terms interchangeably. When we look at these terms in the scope of the theme such as someone’s deathbed, (which is now coming up to focus among academics after it was much forgotten during the 20th century,) “hospice care” and “comfort care” actually become direct antonyms, never synonyms. To understand this clearly, it helps greatly to note that comfort care is characterized to be accidental and “improvised,” which is clearly antithetical to the features of hospice care, and to imagine someone with a terminal illness suddenly collapsing in public while he/she was still coping with remaining daily lives during one’s dying trajectory, and then getting sent to comfort care, only to die in that almost mechanical environment after a number of hours. The conclusion that we can eventually comprehend is the fact that comfort care is characterized by the lack of personal deathbed, while hospice care, in contrast, is characterized by the full presence of deathbed.

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