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126Cher: I agree that Palliative care can be misconstrued. That happened with my late mother, though there was no way she was going to live.
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Hospice and Palliative care people all have different ideas. My husband was semi-okay until they realized that his body could not take any more chemo. Then they put him on palliative care without my our permission. So if you talk to 10 people they all say different things.
They just stopped giving him blood and let him bleed to death because his body was not a cash crop anymore. Ask a lot of questions yes but it does not mean anyone will answer you correctly.
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I believe you may be talking about palliative care, which is placed into effect when there is no chance of the patient recovering, therein they are given meds to make them comfort. The patient may also have put in place a "DNR" order before they become gravely ill.
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One of the above answers referred to a visiting MD. As a patient who moved out of a nursing home to my own apartment with caregivers, I had a terrible experience with a visiting MD. He refused to prescribe me my narcotic painkillers as well as Lyrica, pardon my spelling, and cut all remaining meds in half or not at all. I became violently ill for many months, having to be hospitalized twice. This lasted for five months which I put up with because I was so determined not to go back to a nursing home due to several really bad experiences over a period over almost four years. I finally am under the care of a caring Nurse Practitioner. So the point I'm trying to make here is do your research on the agency and the MD who is providing the services of a "Visiting Physician ". This horrible experience almost put me back into an abusive nursing home.
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Even two hospice groups in same town can have different views. Even two staff members in same hospice group may have different views. It is amazing what you don't learn until it is too late. Ask LOTS of precise questions of everyone.
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To answer Love2maylove's post.
One of the definitions that I have found is this:
"Passive" assistance would be a form of "Physician"s Assisted Suicide" and an "Active" assistance would be more akin to Euthanasia.

To the other comments.
In Palliative care the goal is comfort but allowing the patient to continue with current treatments, their current Doctors, Therapy be it physical or occupational.
Hospice the goal is comfort but medications relating to the life limiting condition are discontinued as well as any therapies. Medications for "chronic" ailments can be continued if the patient wishes. (So a person diagnosed with lung cancer could continue treatment for diabetes for example, or continue dialysis if they are on dialysis) but they would have to discontinue chemo and other treatments for the cancer. I think many people eventually elect to discontinue treatments for other ailments though as the life limiting disease progresses. And again as with Palliative Care the goal is comfort. It is only towards the end when the patient can no longer take medications by mouth that Morphine is given. (I was giving my Husband regular meds until about 2 weeks before he died, I switched to the Morphine as it became difficult for him to eat) Hospice does not do IV's, Tube Feeding so medications can not be given in that way. (If a person that is being tube fed goes on Hospice the tube can remain, it is not a requirement that it be removed)
The goal of Hospice is NOT to quickly kill a person with Morphine, the goal is comfort for End of Life, how ever long that takes, some are on Hospice for hours some for days, some weeks or months and in our case years.
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MidKid, I don't think you're hijacking at all; I think you're raising a valuable point in response to the OP's question. And what's passive vs. active can be nuanced in definition, so this is an important question as well.
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GA-
I don't want to hijack this post, so I'll keep this short.
I only know what we did for daddy and what it was called. In Pc, he opted to stop all medications but those for pain. He had no chronic issues that needing addressing. He did get in home nursing and personal care, but the "goal" I think was to ease him into Hospice. I really don't remember how long he did pc--and you're right, I have heard a lot of people bandy that term about and it seems to mean different things to each person.
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MidKid, you raise an interesting issue in terms of Palliative Care. I only learned about it a few months ago, but since then find that nearly everyone with whom I speak has a different interpretation, including those in the health field.

One of our very good physicians described Palliative Care as focused on those with chronic conditions, maintaining meds, providing home health care including a visiting physician, treating conditions at home as much as possible, but not focusing on active end of life situations.

I think this program is so new that even the medical community doesn't completely understand it.
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Um, you might want to re-word that question.

Passive--means doing nothing.
Active means you're doing something.

Do you mean the difference between palliative care (keeping patient comfortable, but stopping all meds that are not wanted--basically, allowing for a slow death to occur) or Hospice, which is more "aggressive" only in the fact that most patients are at the EOL stage and take only morphine and other sedating drugs to keep them comfortable?

Otherwise, you're talking about just doing 'nothing' and 'euthanasia'.
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