Discuss the philosophyof the Hospice movement.
Hospice is derived from the Latin word hospitium, “hospitality,” an inn for travelers, especially one kept by a religious order. The hospice movement was started by Dr. Cicely Saunders in England in the 1940s, when St. Christopher’s Hospice was opened to provide a quiet place where people could die in peace and dignity. It was staffed by nuns who had a sense of commitment to service.
Hospice care was introduced in the United States in 1974 at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. Since then, the movement has expanded rapidly, with programs based on several organizational models: all-volunteer, hospital-based, integrated with home health agencies or freestanding community hospices. Though diverse, these programs share a philosophy.
Philosophy of Hospice Care
Hospice has a philosophy rather than a place. The goal of the Hospice program is to provide comfort, purpose, and understanding to patients with terminal illness and their families.
Our culture has difficulty dealing with the dying process. We seem to be able to accept death when it occurs, but we have a lot of trouble handling the process of getting there. The reluctance to recognize and accept the reality of a condition that is terminal seems to be as common to professionals in the medical field as it is with lay people. Doctors are trained to cure disease and to maintain life. Because of their training doctors generally regard the death of a patient as a failure on their part.
To some degree this is understandable. Life is precious, it is short and we all want to remain as conscious part of the life experience just as long as possible. We are willing to accept a certain amount of deprivation, pain and suffering to stay with the known. There is ample evidence of this when you consider the number of people living in various stages of restricted lives such as hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, detention camps and poverty. Few of us “give up” life without a struggle, as you can see from appealing death row inmates, and World War II death camp survivors. The “will to live” seems to be instinctual. All levels of life display survival instincts when confronted with life-threatening situations.
Hospice is designed to step in and begin working with patients and their families when the patient’s life expectancy is six months or less. The sooner we …
The solution discusses the philosophy of the Hospice movement.