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Hospice (cont.)

What Not to Expect

A hospice does not admit a person to an acute care hospital for intensive care. In fact, the concept of hospice is designed with the idea that most people don't want to die in an intensive care unit (ICU) with tubes and wires sticking out of various parts of their bodies.

  • The purpose of an ICU is to save the life of someone who has an illness or an injury that's curable.
  • The ICU is not set up to provide comfort measures, and doctors who frequently practice intensive care medicine often are not well versed in comfort measures.
  • Doctors who specialize in palliative medicine treat people with grave illness aggressively. Hospice provides comfort measures in ways that most other doctors never learned about, but that care does not involve ICU treatment. That's why palliative medicine is a specialty of its own.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Palliative Care in the Acute Care Setting »

Palliative care has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)as "the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems, is paramount.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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