• Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Taxes
  • Planned Giving
  • Who Can Help
< BACK TO HOME

SENIOR ADVOCATE

By Liza Horvath

 

Retaining Control Using Palliative Care

 

An evolution is taking place in the medical industry and, unlike most of the news we are hearing, it has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. Physicians remain focused on curing patients but now nearly 55 percent of hospitals, including our own Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, are now offering palliative care in addition to traditional medical services. Palliative care is often used with end-of-life hospice care, but it is now being increasingly used in conjunction with curative therapies to reduce the physical and emotional stress that is often associated with serious illness.  

 

“In conventional Western medicine, people can now decide for themselves, in collaboration with their doctor, how much pain medication they need. It turns out that when people know they have control over pain, they need a lot less medication, because often pain is actually made worse by the fear of pain,” says Ram Dass in his 2012 publication, “Polishing the Mirror.” Dass is referring to the growing acceptance of palliative care for those who suffer from treatable, chronic or life threatening illnesses.

 

The term “palliative” is derived from the Latin word, palliare, and means “to cloak” so not only is the care used to reduce current pain, but it can be used to mask the side effects associated with some therapies. A palliative care strategy is developed by the patient, the patient’s health care representative and a team comprised of the physician, nurse, and pharmacist, and can also include a social worker or chaplain. Additional members of the team may involve the hospital discharge planners or clinical dietitians. Ideally, the physician spends time at the onset discussing the disease and care options in detail so that informed decisions can be made for both the current treatment and for future treatments.

 

Each plan is unique to the individual but serious illness is often hard to accept and difficult to live with. Patients may feel lonely, angry or scared so most plans should include a forum for the patients to discuss any psychological or spiritual anxiety they may be having. In addition to counseling, drug therapy and relaxation therapy can be included. When a terminal patient is sent home “to die,” the patient is often provided with a morphine drip that they control – and that can ultimately speed the time of death. Irrespective of some of society’s expressed concerns that this practice could be called euthanasia, murder or killing, being in control of pain just seems humane.   

 

The best palliative care is prevention but if you or a loved one is already suffering with a serious or chronic illness, make sure palliative care is introduced to help reduce pain, alleviate stress and improve the patient’s quality of life – or, in some cases, ease death.

Liza Horvath has over 30 years experience in the estate planning and trust fields and is the president of Monterey Trust Management, a financial and trust management company. This is not intended to be legal or tax advice. If you have a questions call (831)646-5262 or email liza@montereytrust.com

 


SIDEBAR

TRUSTEES & TRUSTEE DUTIES

PLANNED GIVING & CHARITABLE BEQUESTS

ESTATE PLANNING FOR PETS

YOUR ESTATE PLAN

CRITICAL CHOICES FOR HEALTH CARE

FAMILY OFFICE

AGENCIES: WHO DOES WHAT



USEFUL LINKS
             
Home Continuing Education Calendar Directory of Professionals Members Only Become a Member Search Contact Us
 
The information provided on this website is intended as general reference information only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice based on a particular or factual situation. The information on this web site does not constitute professional legal advice, accounting or tax advice and should not be interpreted as such. Although we have made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, MontereyTrust, its Members, shareholders, managers and staff, make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided on this web site. The user of the information contained herein accepts it as is and assumes all responsibility for its ultimate use.

© 2013 MontereyTrust.com.  All Rights Reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook!