|| For recent years, most of the forty thousand people in Taiwan who die of cancer have suffered from long-term pain, anxiety, and depression and even die from discomfort or related complications during the period when they are confined in the hospital to receive regular treatment. This brings the heavy medical burdens for the society and the nation; besides, because the traditional medical care fails to provide sufficient caring, the patients and their families have to tolerate lower quality of living.
As the rise of hospice care, more humanistic notions are provided to the system of the traditional medical services, giving the final-term patients of cancer another mode of caring and nursing. It is an all-round medical service that regards the family as the unit to take care of. The distinguished difference between the viewpoints of the hospice care and that of the traditional medical service is that the former allows people to face squarely the fact “All humans will die.” Under this pre-condition, what the hospice care concerns is what the team of the medical care could do to take care of the patients at deathbeds when their ends are predictable. Obviously, in place of healing, the target of medical care turns to caring and nursing. To promote the quality of living of the patients and their families, the hospice care aims at offering all-round cares to the incurable patients and their families by relieving pains and other uncomfortable symptoms as well as offering them cares in every possible way by integrating their mentality and spirits. Therefore, hospice care advocates the notion that allows the patients to die in peace and with dignity by means of giving them wholesome cares from physical, mental, and spiritual aspects.
Despite that the theories of hospice care have gradually developed and been advocated, the issue “death” has always been a taboo subject in our society for a long time. As this unavoidable destiny cannot be faced with square attitude by general people, many unnecessary tragedies of individual or of family occur. The practice of hospice care makes it possible for the final-term patients to die in peace and with dignity and for their families to obtain support. As a result, the patients and their families are able to encounter the coming doom squarely and composedly. To advocate patients to make wills before their death (living wills) and to respect their autonomy of choosing final medical service are important, which help people realize the limitation of life and make good preparations for death. Only through these ways can people outlive their lives without being confined in stubborn depression. In order to make hospice care understood and accepted, and, in consequence, supported by the public, to advocate positive life education, therefore, is the best way to promote the practice of hospice care.