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To the Better End


Groups working to foster better end of life experiences

Fred Hansen
Winter '07
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Many organizations have the mission of working toward better end-of-life experiences.


& Choices


Compassion and Choices logo

The leading organization working toward end-of-life legislation is Compassion and Choices. Their website is listed at left. It describes teh organization thus:
Compassion & Choices is a nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. As a national organization with over 60 chapters and 30,000 members, we help patients and their loved ones face the end of life with calm facts and choices of action during a difficult time. We also aggressively pursue legal reform to promote pain care, put teeth in advance directives and legalize physician aid in dying.

In addition to working toward more compassionate legislation, the society has a Client Support Program, described in the FAQ as follows:

The Client Support Program serves individuals, families and others who may be facing the end of life or even just planning ahead. These confidential services include:

• Support and counsel to anyone who contacts us
• Local referrals to pain specialists, hospice programs, social service agencies, disease-specific support groups and others
• Assistance in completing living will/advance directive and in talking to families, friends and health care providers about health care wishes
• Advocacy for people in nursing homes or who are receiving inadequate care

Compassion & Choices does not provide the means to hasten death, nor do we administer the means. We offer information, support and a presence at the death of a qualified client.

Pgh hospices

Family Hospice and Palliative care
The largest Pittsburgh hospice program is Family Hospice and Palliative Care. It has many programs and services, including hospice. For that it takes its decription from the Its description of its hospice program comes from National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization:
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end-of-life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is exteneded to the patient’s loved ones, as well. At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing and, in most cases, care is provided in the patient’s home. Hospice care also is provided in freestanding hospice facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race or illness.

The national organization lists these hospice programs in Pittsburgh:
AseraCare Hospice
Bethany Hospice Services
Family Hospice and Palliative Care
Forbes Hospice
Gateway Health
Grane Hospice Care
Harmony Hospice
Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice
Hope Hospice
Odyssey HealthCare of Pennsylvania
Sivitz Jewish Hospice

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