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More Americans Opt for Hospice for End-of-Life Care

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) -- More Americans are choosing hospice care over hospitals for end-of-life care, reports Health Day News. In 2008, two in every five people who died in the U.S. were under hospice care, according to the national hospice group.

People facing fatal illnesses often feel a lack of control with medical staff in and out the room treating and testing at all times.  Hospice, on the other hand, offers patients more control and compassionate care and treatment. 

"I don't know about you, but when I'm sick and not feeling good, I'd much rather be at home," J. Donald Schumacher, who is president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, told Health Day News.  "I think dying is the same way.  If you're going to die, it's better to be in your own environment and away from the high-technology setting of the hospital."

Kathleen Pacurar, president of San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine that because of the acute nature of terminal illnesses, patients are often making multiple trips to emergency rooms and hospitals.  Consequently, hospice care can often be the more cost effective way of caring for the terminally ill.

"With hospice, because we are managing their symptoms and pain and we're available 27/7, patients call us rather than the medics when they are in pain or distress.  That means fewer trips to the hospital and a lot few medical procedures," Pacurar said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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