Chapter Ten: Hospice Care and Communication
Hospice Care AND Communication
The predominant medical paradigm is the biomedical model whereby health is seen as the absence of disease. Although historically the reductionist biomedical model was effective in combating infectious diseases and pathogens, modern medicine has had to shift its focus to assisting patients who suffer with chronic conditions (Havelka, Lučanin, & Lučanin, 2009). The goal of the biomedical approach to any health issue remains the same, however—to extend life and delay death. Health professionals in modern hospitals are highly trained to cure illness and disease using tools of medicine and technology. However, except for the very few palliative care specialists, clinicians may succeed in extending the length of life to the detriment of quality of life. The predominant biomedical approach has failed in many ways to relieve patients’ suffering with chronic illness—suffering that is experienced on physical, social, emotional, and spiritual levels (e.g., Kaut, 2002). The aim of this chapter is to consider how communication in hospice settings has been used to reinforce the traditional biomedical model or extend beyond it in the delivery of effective hospice care to patients.
TRADITIONAL AND EMERGENT MODELS OF PATIENT CARE
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