Home hospice care is a way of providing pain and symptom relief, as well as emotional and spiritual support for the patient and the family, at home rather than in the hospital. It involves a multidisciplinary approach that may include a doctor or other care provider, nurses, a pharmacist, aides, a social worker, a spiritual caregiver, and counselors.
Advance directives and living wills are legal documents that spell out specifically which treatments are to be given and which are to be withheld. For example, a person with advanced brain cancer may not want to be put on a ventilator (breathing machine) if he or she stops breathing. You have the right to make these decisions for yourself as long as you are mentally competent.
Author: Charles Davis, MD, PhD, Research Director, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Coauthor(s): Nitin Tandon, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Editors: Brian F Chinnock, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Jerry Balentine, DO, Professor of Emergency Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; Medical Director, Saint Barnabas Hospital.