Humane care for the dying is a social obligation not adequately met. Too often, death is considered a medical failure rather than the inevitable final chapter of life. As a result, many people approach death fearing abandonment during a time of need, profound suffering of self and family and a protracted, over-treated ending. Their fears are not unsubstantiated. Life-sustaining procedures are frequently administered in direct contradiction to the patient’s wishes.
Despite the growing proclivity to administer life-sustaining treatments, research indicates that increases in interventions have not reduced mortality rates. In many cases, life-sustaining treatments only prolonged the dying process. Reducing unwanted, unnecessary and futile interventions at end-of-life will realign the intensity of care more with patient preferences without adversely impacting mortality rates. Improvements in patient and family satisfaction, provider satisfaction, risk management and medical cost containment will also result.
The compassionandsupport.org website offers information with a focus on improving care at the end-of-life to patients, families, and professionals. By providing professionals specific viewing materials and information pertaining to the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Program and other End-of-Life topics, healthcare and other professionals have the opportunity to further research and continue to learn about specific end-of-life care choices available to all individuals. Additionally, the goal is to be a go-to resource for professionals in search of information, references, and other resources.