Hospice care in the end of life in patients with terminal illness: Time has come to develop the discipline in India – Guest Bloggers Dr. P.L. Arora and Dr. Z. Arora

Even with increased sophistication in care now available in India for a variety of illnesses, it should be expected that there will be instances where further medical care in patients with a terminal illness will be considered futile by current standards of care. This is unfortunately more applicable in cases of trauma, heart attacks or stroke, where there may be a delay in getting the appropriate intensive care necessary for a successful outcome - not only for the survival of the patient, but more so for the quality of life if the patient does survive the acute event. The final stages of cancer of any part of the body are obviously the most recognized condition appropriate for hospice care.

Hospice Care

Hospice is a discipline of medicine that emphasizes steps taken to promote comfort rather than aggressive interventions to keep the patient alive at any cost, even when it is obvious that these measures will only delay the final outcome. Very often, this leads to great discomfort to the patient. Towards the end of life, these patients, whether diagnosed with cancer or another terminal illness, often suffer from a multitude of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, depression, nausea and vomiting, to name a few. Hospice addresses all of these symptoms through both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic means (music therapy, spiritual and religious means, relaxation exercises etc.)

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  1. Savita Chandra
    Posted Mar 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Dr Savita Chandra presently Professor & Head of the dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and President of the Panaji Obstetric & Gynaecologic Society; is a graduate of Medical College, Amritsar and also did her postgraduation MD from the same institution . I was very happy to know your placement and success in professional career.
    The concept of Hospice did interest me.
    Dr Savita Chandra email ID : savitachandramd@gmail ,com

    Posted Jul 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Dear Dr.Arora,
    Thank you for your wonderful suggestion to start Hospice care in India.
    I have seen many young and old patients with terminal illness in severe pain and dreadful condition.I get lot of sympathy for them because their end of life is miserable left with severe pain,no food no oxygen and no pain killers to end their life in a peaceful way.
    I was quite impressed when I visited few Hospice centres in Australia and NewZealand and the amount of care they take especially when the end of life is coming to an end.Patient passes off peacefully without any pain and bed sores.
    I wonder whether we can start any such Hospice centres in India and their management as the older generation is slowly being neglected and hard to find carers.Their very survival is becoming difficult ,unless the government comes out with some concrete proposal and law to educate the population and start some hospice centres.
    Some of my teachers and Professors are in a miserable state of health staying in a private old age homes after their children deserted them.So let us give a serious thought to the idea of Dr.Arora.
    Dr.Fazel Rehman
    Family Practitioner,Banjara hills

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