The word Hospice seems so final. I’m worried that my loved one will just quit fighting if I sign him up for Hospice. Have you ever seen this affect the terminally ill patient in a negative way? And what if God heals my loved one? May I simply drop Hospice if that happens?
Ann, thank you for your question. To many, I am sure, the term Hospice seems final, but hospice doesn’t speed up the dying process nor makes it linger. I see hospice as allowing nature to run its course. A way of allowing God to be in charge, not medication, not doctors, not machines. At any time, patients/families can revoke hospice. Just sign a form and you are off. If you later want back on, you sign back up. I just recently had a patient who’s family didn’t want the patient to know he was on hospice. They were concerned he would give up if he knew. But patients already know they are dying. Maybe not at first, but eventually, they know. They know their own body, they know people are coming to see them that they haven’t seen in a while. They sense sadness. They try to be strong for others, while, the family are trying to be strong for them. No one is addressing the elephant in the room. Neither get to share goodbyes or memories and the patient dies alone, unable to talk about their feelings. At least they deserve the opportunity. If God heals them, hurray! If God does not, hurray! Either way, the patient is allowed to see the glory of God working either to heal or take them on home. Which brings up another question. Are they ready to die? Maybe they need to talk to clergy, have someone pray with them. All hospices have Chaplain services for this very purpose. Whether a believer or not, consolation may be needed and Chaplains serve everyone equally. I think hospice is always a plus option never a negative.