Tactics forcing ICU patients onto hospice

From the outset, be worried or suspicious if:

  • Your loved one is old, or has been hospitalized for a prolonged period;
  • you don’t know the doctor;
  • insurance is HMO;
  • doctors are hospital contracted and don’t communicate well.

Doctors, nurses, or hospital staff:

  • Urge you to change legal documents to DNR status;
  • pressure placement of patient on hospice or “comfort care”;
  • tell you your loved one is “suffering”, “uncomfortable” (who isn’t when you’re ill!), “no hope”, “care is futile”, “no quality of life”, or they will “never get back to normal”;
  • make these worrisome statements within the first 48 hours of admission;
  • attempt to wrestle away your legal right to make decisions for your loved one;
  • urge removal of life-supporting care like medication or breathing tubes.

Fight back by: 

  • Demanding time, and not be forced to make spontaneous or hasty decisions;
  • having a family discussion;
  • getting an outside unbiased second opinion;
  • making sure a Palliative Care Team is on the case (and ask who pays them);
  • requesting a meeting of the hospital Ethics Committee;
  • reporting them to hospital oversight agencies (eg. The Joint Commission, Health Department, Ombudsman, Medicare, Medicaid). 

Money talks; you need to talk louder.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

Comments:  http://scvphysicianreport.com/2018/12/18/doctors-diary-december-18-2018-tactics-forcing-icu-patients-onto-hospice/   Hit “Home” for past snippets.

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