“It seems so cruel.”

I overheard a woman talking on her cell phone outside a patient’s room. She said, “I guess we’re going to let her go [die]. It seems so cruel.”

This statement reflects an attitude held by some that if you stop aggressive medical treatment you are “giving up” or being cruel to a patient. I believe this is a misconception.

Hospice is about giving comfort to the living until they die. It is not about helping someone die. They’re going to die anyway … with or without hospice. We all are going to die anyway.

HospiceĀ is very oriented to the living … giving comfort to a patient for as long as they live. In no way does it seem cruel to me. It seems loving.

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