Editorial| Volume 11, ISSUE 7, P462-464, September 2010

End-of-Life Care in the Nursing Home

Published:August 05, 2010DOI:
      By virtue of its structure, Western medicine is characterized by its cure-oriented approach to the patient. We pretend to master death and the fear of death, according to Dr Elizabeth Kübler-Ross.
      • Kübler-Ross E.
      On Death and Dying.
      We are uncomfortable in situations when the patient’s prognosis is poor, because as health care providers, we are instilled with the idea that the ultimate goal in patient care is curing the patient. Thus, the fear of failure looms when aggressive treatment is no longer possible and many providers are reluctant to be straightforward with families in discussing end-of-life (EOL) care options. Unfortunately, this pandemic attitude of denial and avoidance has the unintended consequence of alienating both the dying and the aged and is a true disservice to all patients. Additionally, the current approach to EOL care often fails to accept the inevitable notion that just as there is a time for living, there is also a time for dying. With the advances in medical technology, one of the real challenges of modern medicine is accepting that dying is part of life’s journey for all individuals and that death does not represent a failure of the health care system or health care providers.
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