Some people have the wrong idea about what hospice care means. Many people hear hospice, and they think “brink of death” care or “nothing more can be done”. In reality, hospice helps people with life-limiting illness live to their fullest with the best care possible. It’s true that most people receiving hospice care die, however true hospice care is about living. This is the second in a series of some of the most common misconceptions about hospice.
Myth #2: Patients have to be DNR to enroll in hospice
Many patients and physicians believe that a patient must agree to a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) prior to admission. Signing a DNR means that you do not want to be resuscitated with CPR or other means should your breathing or heart stop. While the majority of patients do elect to have a DNR order in place, it may not be the right choice for everyone.
Our clinical staff begins the discussion of overall goals of care on admission, and often through that discussion or on subsequent visits, the patient comes to a better understanding of what Full Code and DNR mean in the context of their illness and goals. The goal of hospice is comfort and patient centered care, and no decision should ever be forced or coerced.
-by Dr. Laura Patel, Medical Director