Bioethics News

One-Third of Elderly Veterans with Terminal Cancer Don’t Receive Hospice Care; Half Don’t Get Palliative Care

May 31, 2016

(Medical Daily) – A new study published Friday in the Journal of Palliative Medicine reveals that our veterans aren’t always getting the end-of-life care they deserve. The researchers analyzed the medical records of nearly 12,000 veterans over the age of 65 who died of cancer in 2012. From there, they looked at the type and quality of medical care the patients received in the last 180 days of their lives, either through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Medicaid. Both systems allowed the patients to receive hospice care, which is strictly defined as medical care and support intended for terminally ill patients and their families, but only VA patients could also receive palliative care — treatment intended solely to ease patients’ quality of life, regardless of whether their illnesses are necessarily terminal.

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