May 6, 2011

Public Awareness About End-of-Life Care Essential


Greensboro, NC—- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has issued a new report, Private Conversations and Public Discourse, urging open discussion of end of life care. The report is available to anyone wishing to download a copy. “In the past 30 years, we have made some tremendous advances in medical care, particularly in the care of the dying. Yet, far too many Americans still suffer from unnecessary pain, discomfort and unaddressed needs at life’s end,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the NHPCO.

Private Conversations and Public Discourse encourages a national agenda for consumer engagement in end-of-life issues. The call to action speaks to the following audiences:

  • Individuals
  • Health care providers
  • Policy makers
  • Employers
  • The media

“There has been so much fear generated by rumors of ‘death panels’ and it’s disturbing to see Americans being intentionally mislead by false statements regarding care at the end of life and advance care planning,” stated Schumacher.

The report points to real and perceived barriers in people seeking quality care when facing a serious or life- limiting illness. One example is the common misconception that a patient and doctor have “given up” when they elect hospice. Research has shown that hospice and palliative care improve quality of life and family caregiver satisfaction; and in some cases, patient lives longer than if more conventional “curative” treatments were chosen.

Locally, information or presentations regarding Advance Directives or choices at the end of one’s life are available by calling Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (HPCG). HPCG, a member of NHPCO, has more information about end-of-life issues at “Private Conversations and Public Discourse” is also available in PDF from the HPCG website (

HPCG, a non-profit agency, is situated on an eight-acre campus at 2500 Summit Avenue. HPCG provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for children and adults faced with a life-limiting illness, as well as their caregivers and families. For more information, contact HPCG at (336) 621-2500, or