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New Law in California Sparks Controversy and Conversation

Two months ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the “End of Life Option Act,” which would provide patients living with terminal conditions more options on how to approach end of life care. The passing of this bill has led to an increase in conversations surrounding hospice and palliative care in the state, as well as across the nation.

While the law will not take effect until 2016, doctors and hospice care providers are exploring what this law will mean for the patients they serve.  This discussion has also highlighted a lack of palliative care services in the state.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, residents in one-third of California’s counties do not have access to any type of inpatient palliative care. There is also a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding what types of services palliative care facilities provide. 

The goal of palliative care is to provide relief from both the pain and stress of serious illness and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Palliative care can be provided at any age and can be provided side by side with curative treatments.

While the recent bill in California has sparked controversy, it has also sparked a conversation and awareness of the services available to patients suffering from chronic and terminal illness. This is something CHAP’s Senior Advisor, Barbara Muntz wrote about last year

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