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Free Example of Preferences for End of Life Essay

The article “Preferences for End of Life: Views of Hospice Patients, Family Carers, and Community Nurse Specialists” focuses on the sad but still unavoidable issues that patients and their carers have to face. The patients’ preferences are of paramount importance. Therefore, medical specialists need specific knowledge and guidance to help their patients make the transition to the afterworld. As some studies demonstrate, hospice professionals lack confidence in bringing about the questions concerning the imminent death; they may have problems establishing friendly and trustworthy relationships with their patients, and they may often mention the lack of knowledge about the patients. The authors of the article emphasize the shortage of information on “best practice for discussing and recording preferences at the end of life”.

Laura Holdsworth and Annette King conducted a small-scale study aimed at collecting various opinions about end-of-life issues. The participants of that study were patients, carers, bereaved carers, and community nurse specialists (CNSs) from the hospices. They completed an information sheet, sharing their experiences and problems. Some of the CNSs admitted the difficulty in striking up the conversation about the patient’s preferences on the first visit. They underscored the importance of establishing rapport with the patient and providing them with medical services of high quality. The CNSs avoided some contentious issues as “certain end-of-life topics, such as resuscitation and organ donation, were not considered important by some of the CNSs”. One patient conceded that he took initiative to discuss the place of death, probably because he was too realistic about his condition and his care taker was hesitant. Some patients considered the hospice a good place to end their times. Some patients complained about the lack of information on the part of CNSs; some felt like they were overwhelmed and displayed reluctance when discussing the place of care and the place of death. CNSs, in their turn, were not eager to be inquisitive and focused on providing care and comfort in the first place. The bereaved carers expressed most concerns about the appropriateness of their decisions made for their relative. However, the end-of-life issues have to be approached with consideration and care. The publication of End of Life Care Strategy is aimed at helping both care specialists and patients overcome the prejudices and fears related to hospices and death matters: “The patients also expressed that they had held stereotyped views of hospice care as being ‘the end’ and that this fear was initially a barrier to receiving hospice support”. The authors of the article stress the significance of heartfelt talks between patients and hospice care providers because the discussions influence the quality of treatment and the subsequent bereavement process for relatives and carers: “it is the quality of the conversations between the health professionals, the patients, and the carers that is of use to patients and carers”.

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Although Holdsworth and King (2011) emphasize the significance of patients’ preferences for death-related issues, they do not provide any meaningful insights into how to approach such issues. In other words, their study is of little practical value for those really interested in improving the quality of relationships between patients and their carers. Secondly, their study is fragmentary as it relies on the isolated experiences and thoughts, which are insufficient to make some valid conclusions. However, the most obvious advantage of their study is that it gives a powerful incentive to carry out other significant researches in this area. Palliative care providers need the skills of priests, doctors, and lawyers to be efficient in aiding their patients and making their last days meaningful. Carers and hospice professionals need as much guidance and support as their patients when giving advice or recommendation or just sharing experience. They have to be provided with a solid basis (more practical than theoretical) as a cornerstone for arriving at reasonable and clear-cut decisions.

Code: writers15

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