Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Dr Lynn1 highlighted dilemmas that patients, their families, and their primary care physicians face at the end of life. The case of a 47-year-old man with advanced colon carcinoma illustrates serious gaps in care for those with chronic and life-threatening illness nearing end of life. The current hospice model may not address all the problems that Lynn describes, but substantial effort is being directed toward expanding hospice beyond traditional oncology care. Hospice programs may need to obtain funding for more comprehensive services, but this does not necessitate eliminating an existing reimbursement mechanism for end-of-life care, as Lynn suggests.
Alexander CS. Planning Medical Services for the End of Life. JAMA. 2001;285(20):2578-2579. doi:10.1001/jama.285.20.2578