Not too long ago I wrote a post about my feelings toward Hospice (LOOK HERE) and how I felt that all involved were special, wonderful people. Well, the other day I had lunch with a Hospice Chaplain and I of course told her as I will tell anyone willing to listen, just how impressed I am with the concept of hospice and how special I believe it's workers are. She of course thanked me and told me that many people now show similar feelings towards their group which was once thought of as mostly "legal euthanasia". I didn't know that. I have to admit I didn't always think that hospice was a good idea until they became a salvation to my mother-in-law as her husband lay dieing. Since that time I have come to realize just how much good is done for the families choosing hospice.
While eating, the topic arose regarding Doctors not being able, or wanting to let go of a patient when there really is nothing left for them to do to make the person well again. According to this chaplain, there are very many cases of patients being released from hospitals only to die within hours if not days, sometimes before hospice can fully get into the home and start the necessary steps with the family and patient. She said that she wasn't blaming these physicians for trying to do all that they could however she felt that they need to be educated and made aware of just how helpful hospice can be to both the patient and their family. I understood the point she was trying to make but I also tried to play devils advocate and asked if it were possible that it was the public rather than the doctors who needed the education. To a lot of people I know, hospice is the end of the line yet as long as they're in a hospital there is always a chance of survival. This too I can understand; life is precious, sometimes no matter what. She agreed that everyone needs to be better educated and made to understand the hospice way.
All in all it was an enjoyable, enlightening lunch which was unfortunately interrupted by my cell phone and my having to leave. Before I left I was sure to make her aware that the home I was going to was of a former hospice patient who had just died. I guess there are certain people who will call on hospice knowing the good that they do and likewise there will be certain people who will never accept the hospice concept. Once again, death is very personal and we can't expect anyone to follow our way unless we show them who we are, what we do and why they might want to.