Relatives Prefer Cancer Patients in Hospices Instead of ICU


Hospice care is preferred by most patients and the patients’ relatives

Few things are as worse as seeing a family member, or just someone you care about, dying slowly before your eyes. Sadly, this is the situation for the tens of millions of American citizens with relatives suffering from lethal forms of cancer. According to a new study, researchers say that relatives prefer cancer patients in hospices instead of ICU.

As it turns out, most American relatives of cancer patients would much rather see their loved ones in hospices, being cared for and comforted instead of seeing them go through medical procedures aimed at prolonging their lives.

And before you say that can’t be true, I’m not talking about patients that can still be saved, or anything like that, just those that are still going through aggressive medical treatments in order to stay alive just a little longer.

Of course, it’s just a personal preference, as a lot of people would beg to differ with that point of view.

I mean, if you can still fight to stay alive a little bit longer, why not do it, right?

Well, mainly because the suffering and the quality of life offered by those aggressive treatments, despite them helping you live maybe a few months longer, are in their opinion not worth it.

When in a hospice, the patient is offered emotional support, comfort, and an improved quality of life. And a great many people would rather them live for a few months less than they go through months of often painful and always unpleasant medical treatments, in hospital conditions.

The study was based on information and data gathered from Medicare patients suffering from advanced colorectal and lung cancer, as well as with their families, and was performs as part of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance study.

According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Alexi Wright from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the Harvard Medical School, the statistical responses of the patients’’ families are in agreement with the hospice care situation.

As such, 59% of patients that experienced at least three days in a hospice declared that the treatment offered was excellent, while only 43% of those who didn’t see any hospice care said the same thing.

Meanwhile 45% of relatives of the patients that spent their last month in the ICU also declared that the care given was excellent.

Following the study, the doctors can only advise that the patients’ themselves ask the doctors for what they wish, as the doctors will most of the time go with the ICU route.

Image source: Flickr