“The hospice philosophy is to support people—patients and families—through their end of life
journey. We support patients to be as comfortable as possible and, as one of my colleagues likes to say, we help them to negotiate a soft landing. We support them to die well—according to their wishes. A beautiful part of the hospice philosophy is that it recognizes dying as a personal experience foremost, rather than a medical event.
Rather than viewing death as a medical failure, we view it as the last developmental milestone in one’s life. Barbara Karnes, a leader in the field, explains how “dying” is actually a misnomer. She talks about how what we call “dying” is in fact an act of living— the last act of living. Throughout a person’s decline, they are alive. Until it’s over and they are gone, they are living. It is often said that “we die as we lived.” This makes perfect sense when we consider that dying is an act of living, not separate from the rest of one’s life.”
Being a Hospice Acupuncturist by Susan Wilmoth, LAc