Media Watch 532

Attached is the current issue of Media Watch (#532).

Of particular Interest:

End-of-life care in the U.S.

Hospice in crises

POLITICO (Arlington, Virginia) | Online – 27 September 2017 – It might seem odd to talk about “innovations in dying,” but in recent decades the hospice movement has become an important new pathway for the most difficult phase of life. As American health care has become ever more high-tech and expensive, the hospice model of home-based care for terminally ill patients has enabled millions of Americans to die peacefully in their own houses, without painful medical procedures – often greatly reducing stress on both the families and the health care system. Now, however, the hospice model is coming under stress of its own. Some of that’s because the industry has changed, with a lot more for-profit hospice agencies and investor-owned chains, which are coming under scrutiny from regulators. But much of the stress comes from shifts in how we die, how we live – and with whom. These are big demographic changes that make the original conception of hospice harder to carry out as it was once intended. With baby boomers aging and likely to live with serious illness for several years, understanding how best to take care of the aged and the dying is becoming an ever more pressing issue in America – emotionally, morally, and financially. 

 Extract from Politico article

Even strong advocates of hospice know that it’s time for changes to match the complex medical needs of today’s patients and the demographic realities of the country – as well as trends arising from long-term use of hospice in existing institutions like nursing homes. But in the near future, there aren’t a whole lot of fabulous solutions, at least not ones that don’t cost a lot of money.

 

Patient-centredness and consumerism in healthcare: An ideological mess

JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE | Online – 25 September 2017 – Two concepts appear to permeate political rhetoric concerning healthcare in the U.K. and elsewhere: patient-centred care and consumerism. Concerned that these two important ideas should not get conflated in public debates about healthcare, the authors outline their different philosophical origins and note their differences and similarities. They argue that both can be used in ways that are muddled or insincere, with implications for healthcare delivery.