Hospice And Palliative Medicine: Similarities And Differences

Hospice and Palliative Medicine can be described as a subspecialty designed for recognizing excellence amongst the physicians who specialize in taking care of severely ill patients with fatal illness. The field is based on expansion of scientific knowledge about symptom-control if a disease cannot be cured. Moreover, the treatment ensures proper care during the last few months of a patient’s life.

This form of treatment is usually recommended when the cure for a disease in not possible. The treatment incorporates usage of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, medications as well as other measures for relieving symptoms of lung cancer without the elimination of tumor. Despite the fact that non-surgical treatment is often therapeutic, it is capable of prolonging survival. At a certain stage of treatment, a physician concludes that treatment is not advisable, in this situation hospice and palliative medicine can be useful.

Though the terms hospice and palliative care can be used interchangeably and share a comparable philosophy, difference exists between the two.  Palliative care refers to a whole-person care which relieves the symptoms of a disorder or disease irrespective of the fact that the disease is curable or not. This treatment can be started at any stage of the illness. However, hospice describes a specific kind of palliative care for people having a life span of six more months or less than it. Therefore, we can conclude that hospice care always remains palliative; however palliative care is not always hospice.

The goal of this kind of treatment is to prevent a patient’s suffering or relieve the person. This helps in improving the quality of life of people who are facing serious illness.



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