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Common Hospice Concerns


Does choosing hospice mean I’m giving up hope?

No. While choosing hospice may involve acknowledging that most diseases can’t be cured once they’ve progressed to an advanced stage, it definitely does not mean giving up hope. Many people receiving hospice care find great hope in enjoying a higher quality of life through pain and symptom management, in receiving emotional and spiritual support, and in being able to make the most of each day. We work with each patient to find out what hope means to him or her, and then help the patient achieve those goals.

Do I have to leave my doctor’s care to enter hospice?

No. Your current doctor will remain with you as your “attending physician.” Our staff will work closely with your doctor on all aspects of your care. In addition, Providence Hospice of Seattle’s medical director will review your hospice plan of care and can consult with your doctor as needed.

Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?

No. Hospice can neither speed up nor slow down the dying process. We do provide pain and symptom management to ensure patient comfort; however, death is never artificially hastened and always occurs naturally.

Does hospice help with assisted suicide?

No. We do not hasten death or prolong life. We provide compassionate care up to the patient’s final day of life.

Will I be a burden to my family?

This is a common concern for people considering hospice care. At Providence Hospice of Seattle, one of our primary goals is to provide both practical and emotional support to families and caregivers so that they are better able to help manage their loved ones’ care. A hospice nurse is available 24 hours a day to provide phone consultations, and to visit the patient when appropriate. We also offer trained volunteers who can provide respite care, companionship and other types of support to patients and families.

While caring for a loved one at home can certainly be challenging, many families say that they are grateful for the opportunities for closeness that spending this time with their loved one has given them. It can be a deeply rewarding experience for everyone involved.

What if I want care that hospice doesn’t cover or don’t want hospice services anymore?

If you prefer to receive care (such as aggressive or curative treatment) that is outside of your Hospice Plan of Care, you can always stop hospice services by signing a form that states you would like to “revoke” your hospice benefit. [Back to top]