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www.PalliativeDoctors.org: Organization Sheds Light on Hospice and Palliative Care
Date:8/24/2009

GLENVIEW, Ill., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An organization of doctors specializing in hospice and palliative medicine has launched a new Web site -- www.PalliativeDoctors.org -- to raise awareness of this type of medical care and how it can help patients with serious illnesses, and their families.

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) created www.PalliativeDoctors.org to meet a growing need for information about palliative care and hospice as the population ages, and to address a lack of understanding about who can benefit from it.

Palliative medicine is a type of care that relieves suffering through pain management, emotional support and guidance in managing a disease and making medical decisions. It is for patients with serious illnesses, regardless of their prognosis, and often is provided along with treatments designed to cure the patient's disease. A specific type of palliative care -- hospice -- is available for patients who are not expected to live more than six months if their disease follows its normal course.

"There is enormous misunderstanding about palliative medicine, and tremendous fear associated with it," said Gail Austin Cooney, MD., a palliative doctor and president of AAHPM. "This is heartbreaking because it means that patients don't receive care that could help them through a serious illness, and those needing hospice miss out on months of comfort and improved quality of life because they put off seeking care. We hope this Web site will help the public understand the scope of palliative care, and encourage patients to ask their doctors about it."

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SOURCE American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
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