Thoughts of Hastening Death Among Hospice Patients
Daly B J~~Hooks J~~et al
Prompted by anecdotal reports from hospice nurses of repeated conversations with patients and families about hastening death, the authors conducted a survey to determine the frequency with which hospice patients or their families raised any topic related to hastening death with their hospice nurse. Six possible types of topics were listed in the surveys, three of which were later categorized for analysis as “Alteration of Treatment” and three of which were later categorized as “Steps to Precipitate Death.” The possibility of refusing new treatments was raised most often by both patients and families, followed by thoughts of stopping essential treatment. Implications for hospice nurses are also discussed.