Many years from now, when the history of modern medicine is written, the development of palliative care and hospice will surely be lauded as a most significant advancement. Over just a few decades, compassionate and comprehensive care for dying persons has become an integral part of modern health care systems and the training of most physicians and nurses. Originally, hospice care was extended almost exclusively to elderly patients with cancer. But just as the knowledge and skills of those providing palliative care have increased, the scope of such care has also widened and now commonly includes patients of all ages with a variety of conditions. Year by year, many more families experience the benefits of comprehensive and loving care for their dying loved ones—care that respects the goals and values of each patient and family and continues even after death.
Bevins M. Hospice Care for Children. JAMA. 2009;301(10):1070-1076. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.269