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September 21, 1979

The Hospice Movement

Author Affiliations

Hospice Services Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division Philadelphia

JAMA. 1979;242(12):1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300120012007

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To the Editor.—  John P. Callan, MD (241:600, 1979), spoke for many of us in his editorial "The Hospice Movement." Our experience has shown that dying persons and their families do experience strong emotions and no doubt have special needs. However, we believe and practice that these needs can be met in general hospitals.It is true that general hospitals are primarily designed to treat and cure acute medical crises. But, there is room for the philosophy of palliation and support in hospitals concerned with a humanistic approach to the care of all of its clients. We believe that the Hospice Services at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division, can be modeled by other general hospitals to this end.Currently, our program staff consists of two staff counselors, a secretary, volunteers in the home, and myself as director. The counselors, as part of the Hospice Services, see patients, their families,