This letter is in response to the story "Price of Dying," published March 27.
As executive director of Friends of Caroline Hospice, I feel compelled to ask the question, "Where was the mention of hospice care?" An alternative to the horrendous cost of end-of-life care, hospice is considered to be the model for quality and compassionate care.
With approximately 2.4 million Americans dying each year, it is vital that conversations take place about the kinds of experiences Americans want for themselves or their loved ones as the end of life approaches.
Many patients die without being offered the end-of-life support that hospice provides. They struggle with pain and the side effects of futile curative medical treatments, while watching their families try to cope with escalating demands of their care.
In the Beaufort area, hospice services are offered by a number of quality providers, including Friends of Caroline Hospice, who offer complete hospice services free of charge. We also offer a variety of support groups.
Many patients reach hospice in their final days or hours of life. I urge you to have a discussion about this. Living wills and other advance directives can be useful tools for communicating your preferences, but only if they are a first step for generating conversations on this intimate subject. Friends of Caroline Hospice can be reached at 843-525-6257.
Beverley A. Porter
Friends of Caroline Hospice