06/29/2010 // US // TiffNews10 // News Desk
US – Many Americans with terminal or progressive illnesses are reportedly often overtreated near the end of their lives. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), many dying patients undergo treatments and incur massive medical expenses, seeking to exhaust all possible options, that often prolong their suffering as opposed to giving them a desired effect.
As noted in the report, the numbers of people receiving hospice or palliative care is purportedly decreasing due to many beginning these alternatives too late. Hospitalizations for people in the last six months of their lives is also on the rise. Some health care policy groups are reportedly advocating for improved end of life counseling.
Ellen Stovall, former president of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, is quoted by the AP as stating of the decisions for patients and their families to undergo certain treatments, “I’ve heard a lot of people over the years say what they would do if they had cancer until it is them. And then they will cling to even the smallest glimmer that something will help… Cancer that can’t be cured is often called daunting but not hopeless. So that’s what patients hear. Hope is the last thing to go. People don’t give that up easily.”
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