If we care for patients properly at the end of life, then there really wouldn’t be a desire for assisted suicide. Matthew Vallière, Executive Director of the Patients Rights Action Fund explained, “The policy fight against assisted suicide is quite imperative as a hand-in-hand with things like increasing access to palliative care. Physicians in most states do not need to take many hours of palliative training to pass their boards. We’ve got to fight for more access to palliative care.”
National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is celebrated every November across the nation and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is working with its membership to increase public awareness about the benefits of hospice and palliative care. ,” showcases the success of hospice care in the U.S. and highlights the value it brings to individuals, families, and the overall healthcare delivery system.
What began primarily as a volunteer-driven, grassroots movement in the 1970’s, is now an integrated part of our nation’s health care delivery system that provides care to more than 1.43 million Medicare beneficiaries and their families every year.
“Enacted as a demonstration in 1978 and a Medicare benefit in 1982 as our nation’s first coordinated care model, hospice programs have served millions of Americans and their families with compassionate care to relieve pain, manage symptoms, support patients and their family caregivers, and provided bereavement services for individuals following the death of a loved one,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of NHPCO. “The benefit has been invaluable to patients and lifesaving for families.”