Too many don't understand hospice [Letter]

December 23, 2013

Thanks for Jonathan Pitts' article regarding hospice care ("Urging African-Americans to look at hospice for end of life," Dec. 19). I work on the palliative care service at University of Maryland Medical Center and often encounter resistance to hospice from my African-American patients or families. Community efforts like the one described sound are a wonderful way to help educate people about hospice's many benefits.

One suggestion for the future: It may further contribute to confusion about this kind of care to use phrases like "placed in hospice, a health care setting." This makes it sound like hospice is a place, when it predominantly is delivered in people's homes, which is where most Americans want to die. Much of the resistance I see relates to the thought of sending a loved one somewhere else, which is incorrect.

Marian Grant, Baltimore

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