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Harvard Health Blog
Atul Gawande’s latest gem: Hospice care and our end-of-life wishes
- By: Peter Wehrwein,
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Hospice care is one of the important place in the society, it’s the place where ill people being treated especially those with terminal decease that need mental an physical care.
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After spending 10 years working in hospice palliative care, I have observed that the only difference between our hospice in-patients and me (and you!) is that the patients have some heads up notice about how and when they’re going to die. But the rest of us could go first – that bus with our name on it could be pulling out of traffic this afternoon!
But we live in a death-denying society. We don’t want to talk about death. We don’t even want to THINK about it. Even using the “D” word is taboo in most cases. Instead, we say that somebody has “passed away” or “passed on” or “gone to be with Jesus”.
For many working in hospice palliative care, it’s not the actual death itself that gives us pause for concern – it’s that dying part, the time that could go on and on even until some “expert” advises us that we’re officially in the end-of-life category.
Let’s face it – none of us is getting out of here alive. As a heart attack survivor, I’m reminded every day how already my day to day life has become restricted and limited as I struggle to adapt to my “new normal”. Life itself is a terminal diagnosis.
Victoria, BC Canada
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