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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/5/09

Hospice professionals are the heroes in our midst

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Message Mary MacElveen
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A strong and feisty woman who I knew died on Monday night due to cancer.  This woman was a wife, a mom and a grandmother.  Even at her age, she had much to live for and was even ardent Yankee fan.  She is no longer with her beloved family members and they are the ones I am praying for throughout their grieving process and beyond.


This woman I knew is NOT the only victim of this heinous disease as others have succumbed to it and will continue to succumb to its deathly grip.  There are other diseases just as deadly taking the lives of so many innocent victims, yet instead of speaking of them, for them, we speak of Rush Limbaugh.  Well not we in particular, the main stream media does.  Why is he so damn important instead of this woman who only gave her love, advice and the gift of her company?


At this point, men and women are serving in the military in far away lands such as Iraq and Afghanistan; you would think their lives mattered.  Nope, it is Rush Limbaugh spewing out such hateful and idiotic prose.  I just cannot understand this, not in the least!


Well ENOUGH of him as I move on.  As I think of the billions upon billions being poured into failed institutions such as Citigroup and AIG, it angers me that these moneys are not being used for the public good.  The far greater good means investing our tax dollars into scientific institutions to help find cures for these deadly diseases.  Through these bailouts, we are told that we cannot let certain institutions die, but when it comes to human beings and the quality of their lives, they are on their own.


All of which brings me to another point, while this woman had health insurance over 47 million do not and one has to wonder how they deal with it all when so many succumb to any number of deadly diseases.  I cannot even fathom being in their shoes.


I want to direct this towards any congress member who would rail against universal health care for all.  Exactly what right do you have to deny others what you so enjoy as you serve your country?!  I do not care what you call it as some of you have tried to demonize this coverage as being socialist in nature.  People have the right to health care and to see a doctor when they need to, because if they cannot, often death wins over.


Some may cite the cost and if I had my own ‘Hypocrisy Watch’ as MSNBC’s David Shuster has on his show “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”, all would be cited as the ones I see as being hypocritical and were wrong.


Moving on to a more positive and poignant note: There are heroes in our midst and ones who do not get as much praise as they should. The ones I speak of are those in the palliative care field also known as hospice care.  You may be familiar with this care via the Terri Schiavo case, but there are literally countless people who rely on and have relied upon these brave professionals.  They after all truly see the dignity in life in acting as support mechanism to those facing the end of their life.


I just do not know how they do it.  I have seen their work close up since my own dad went through hospice care.  At the end of one’s life, they are the first responders who truly look out for the well being of both patient and their family members.  I would also call them the last responders when the scientific world who tries everyday to eradicate such diseases cannot come to the rescue.


Normally, doctors enter the medical field to save patients and to extend their lives: The doctors who are in this field must feel powerless to know that whatever care they order for their patients, ultimately death will win over. Yet, they stick with it, first to help the patient at the end of their life and second to aid the families left behind.  We seldom know what signs to look for as one’s life is about to end, but that is when these brave doctors step in.  They will help the family to realize when the end is near and to recognize the crucial moment where they must let their loved ones pass on over to the other side.


We often think of death in somber tones, but the nurses, nutritionists, social workers and others in this field come to it with a sense of peace to help the patient who is often apprehensive at that moment and to ease them throughout this process.  Basically, they assist the patient in passing on. When a family member feels they are out of hope, these brave professionals give hope as well as compassion.  The one point they help all to understand who are left behind to grieve a lifetime is that death is a natural process we will all face and help them also move on.


Many hospice programs rely heavily upon donations because some of who they treat do not have health insurance and while one may feel cash-strapped right now due to this cruel economy where billions of our tax dollars are being used to keep financial institutions alive, any donation you can make is vital.  At least, you will feel your money is being spent more wisely.  Through these hospice programs you can aid a patient whose journey of life is at its end and to help them pass onto their next life.  I can think of no greater gift than that.


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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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