Beware the New ‘Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act’

Elderly

(Nancy Valko, RN ALNC) – Right now, there is a Senate Bill 693 titled “The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act” to authorize more and better training in palliative and hospice care.

Although a provision (SEC. 6. Clarification) was recently added to explicitly forbid federal funding for any health care furnished for the purpose of causing or assisting the death of any individual by assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing, many of us have serious concerns. (The similar House Bill 1676 has already passed and sent to the Senate.)

As an RN with decades of nursing experience in hospice, oncology (cancer) and critical care, I have been involved with many end-of-life situations. I am an enthusiastic supporter of ethical palliative and hospice care which is indeed wonderful for patients of any age and their families.

Unfortunately, there is a growing trend towards calling unethical practices “palliative” or “hospice” care. CONTINUE