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NHPCO Comments on Misleading Quote in Associated Press Article and Provides Helpful Information
Date:3/3/2009

Hospice is about Living Life as Fully as Possible

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization wants all people to know that hospice delivers the highest quality care and services to patients and family caregivers who are coping with life-limiting illness. A recent article carried by the Associated Press ("Assisted Suicide Presents Legal Quandary," by Greg Bluestein, 03/02/09) carries a misinformed quote from an attorney who incorrectly compared hospice to suicide. This remark was incorrect and demonstrates a lack of understanding about the hospice philosophy of care.

"Hospice compassionately cares for people who are near the close of life - but hospice isn't about how you die, it's about how you live. Hospice and palliative care focuses on how dying persons and their loved ones live each day, providing comfort and guidance along the way," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "The quote from that news article demonstrates a callous disregard for all those who receive care, including family caregivers, from our nation's hospice programs."

Hospice is widely recognized as the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice and palliative care involve a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the person's needs and wishes. Support is provided to the person's loved ones as well.

"A common misconception people have is that hospice means you're 'giving up' or 'that there's nothing left for the doctor to do,' and that's absolutely wrong. Hospice is not about giving up but is about maximizing the quality of life, no matter how long that might be," Schumacher said.

When cure is no longer possible, hospice provides the type
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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