Rather than giving over control to medical experts to cure disease, the dying person is empowered by the interdisciplinary team of hospice practitioners to guide and direct the time that remains." Noted as a serious challenge that is faced by hospice practitioners is that associated with "the legal option of choosing death." (Miller, 2007) Miller additionally reports: "A lethal dose of medication can be obtained (within guidelines) by a terminally ill person in Oregon in order to hasten death. Hospice providers across all disciplines have found that this choice has posed a serious challenge to the underpinnings of their work." (2007) Miller reports a study in which the data "...are based on interviews with interdisciplinary hospice providers from eastern and western regions of the U.S. A total of 12 hospices were visited and 60 hospice professionals engaged in a semi-structured interview. The responses to six open-ended questions were taped and then transcribed. Both the construction of the interview instrument and analysis of the transcriptions were extensions of the constant comparative method of analysis. The themes were conceptualized by the statements made during the interviews about the hospice philosophy and its relation to hastened death" (2007)
Miller reports results as follows: "Three interconnected themes emerged from 60 hospice providers: 1) whether hospice can provide sufficient comfort to eliminate requests for a hastened death; 2) whether an inherent value of life should preclude choice; and 3) if an individual's freedom of choice should preclude the value of life. The responses of the social workers to hastened death within the hospice philosophy were also examined as a subset of the larger data set. The three themes for this group were: 1) the challenges to the role of the social worker within the hospice philosophy when a person chooses to die; 2) how hastened death modified practice principles and professional values; and 3) the emergence of personal struggles with the choice. Implications: The voices represented here are unique in that they are open and free to discuss the dilemmas and challenges that a hastened death poses to hospice care. Co-workers thoughts and feelings differed from one another and also with the official policies of their workplaces, pointing to perceived conflict among hospice providers. Social workers in particular found challenges within their role, their practice principles, and their personal reactions when a terminal person chooses to die. The hospice philosophy of 30 years, coupled with the apparent desire of some U.S. citizens to control the time of their death, may drive interdisciplinary adaptation to care of the dying." (Miller, 2007)
VI. HOSPICE CARE in SANTA CRUZ COUNTY CALIFORNIA
Hospice Care in Santa Cruz County, California information is listed as follows
Hospice Caring Project of Santa Cruz County
940 Disc Drive
Scotts Valley, CA 95066-4544
Hospice care, according to the Santa Cruz County, California website is stated to include the following:
nurse visits regularly to check on the patient and teach the family how to manage the patient's care between visits home health aide provides personal care medical social worker helps with caregiving and planning and offers emotional support to the whole family chaplain is available for spiritual support for the patient and family trained volunteer can help with more practical needs, such as transportation, errands, and companionship
Grief support staff and volunteers provide group and individual support for families for 13 months after the patient's death
Hospice is stated to characterized by the following:
The ability to stay at home or in a nursing home, surrounded by the people and things they love most
Pain and other symptom management so a patient can spend each day in comfort and enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones
Spiritual and emotional support to help patients and their families address the feelings, fears and questions that may arise at the end of life; and Support for loved ones through their grief and loss
Organizations providing Hospice Care in Santa Cruz County, California are those as follows:
1) End of Life Care
Santa Cruz, CA
2) Jordan House Inc.
Santa Cruz, CA
3) Sutter Vna & Hospice
1900 Powell St. Ste 300
4) St. Joseph Health System-Sonoma County
821 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
5) Eisenhower Nursing Convalescent Hospital
1470 N. Fair Oaks Ave
6) Care More Hospice
2495 E. Orangethorpe Ave
7) Crisis Line
8) Hospice of the North Coast
5441 Avenida Encinas
9) Sutter Vna & Hospice
10) Pacific Hospice Care Corporation
2520 W. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA
Long-term care facilities in Santa Cruz County, California that provide hospice care are those as follows:
1) Central Coast Alliance for Health
Santa Cruz, CA
2) Santa Cruz Endoscopy Center
1505 Soquel Dr.
Santa Cruz, CA
3) Dority Scott E & Associates
401 Clovis Ave Ste 201
4) Cornerstone America Affiliates
1615 Continental St.
5) Novis Insurance Solutions
Palm Desert, CA
6) Blue Cross Agent
650 Main St.
Towne Center Dr.
8) American Specialty Health Inc.
777 Front St.
San Diego, CA
9) Gregor Don
345 F. St.
Chula Vista, CA
10) Tague Insurance Agency
2801 Jefferson St.
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
Hospice care for individuals who have terminal illnesses is a way of ensuring quality care and pain management when death is approaching and allows the patient to remain in their own home while dying. Additional benefits of hospice care are those provided to the patient's family and caregivers during this very difficult time. Finally, hospice care is far less expensive than hospital care. Challenges faced by Hospice include the baby-boomer population approaching the elderly age as well as the ethical and financial considerations associated with making the…