Unsurprisingly, palliative care does not generate large amounts of revenue, nor is it the sort of service that many hospitals choose to advertise. But it when it is done well, it can make a huge difference. Over one million Americans die every year, and in many parts of the country, over three-quarters die in a hospital or long-term care facility. While many say it might be better to die at home, for a majority, this simply is not what happens.
Palliative care enhances understanding, reduces suffering, and helps patients, families, and the healthcare team clarify goals. Because the focus is not on making the disease go away, it is possible to focus attention on living with it as well as possible. This bears repeating: the goal is not just to die well but to live well. Members of the team can talk openly with patients and families about what is happening and what lies ahead, helping them navigate these uncharted waters.” More at The Atlantic.