We have lost First Lady Barbara Bush and Sen. John McCain. While I respect the families’ privacy in not wanting to share details surrounding difficult end-of-life decisions, I am dismayed that I heard neither family use the word “hospice” in reference to their choices. News stories stated that medical treatments were stopped, so the change in level of care (hopefully) often involved hospice care.
To people who make these difficult decisions each day, hearing that hospice care was chosen to ease a loved one’s transition would do so much to shed light on some of the misconceptions and ignorance prevalent when the word hospice is mentioned. Hospice does not mean “giving up,” it does not take away hope and it does not hasten death. What it does do is allow people and their families to face death on their own terms, with support, dignity, grace and peace.
Hospice is not a bad word. Please, let’s not be afraid to use it.