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Jun 24, 2022

Hospice patients have the right to start and stop hospice care. Your hospice, your choices.  After a physician determines that a patient has a “terminal prognosis” - a six-month life expectancy, a patient can be admitted to hospice if the patient chooses to start, or “elect”, hospice. The patient might still refuse to start hospice.  There are numerous reasons why that might happen.  Feeling like hospice is giving up hope, waiting for test results, or wanting to pass a milestone anniversary or holiday are all reasons people delay starting hospice care.  Sometimes people have had a bad experience with hospice for a family member, and they’re concerned about receiving poor care.  It’s a legitimate fear; mistakes happen.  Sometimes hospice just isn’t a good fit.  After hospice care is started, it’s the patient’s right (or his decision-maker) to stop hospice.  It’s called a revocation.  Only the patient or decision-maker can revocate a patient.  That right lies with the patient and could happen for several reasons.  The patient might decide to resume treatment or wants to enroll in a study.  The right to choose when to stop and start hospice belongs to the patient.    

Find the full listing of Patient Rights here:

Patient Rights Document from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice

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Find more information about hospice philosophy, end-of-life care, and self-care for both personal and professional caregivers here

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