Position Paper- Palliative vs Curative care.
According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO, 2011), Palliative care is an approach, which aims to improve quality of life of patients and families who are crippled with life threatening illnesses. Alternatively, curative care is an approach that aims to prolong life through technological advances and medicine. It seems that the best approach to health care, would be to improve the quality of life as well as prolong life, through a combination of both curative and palliative care.
The best approach to health care is a combination of both curative and palliative care. Combining the best of life prolonging technological advances whilst maximising quality of life should be the ultimate aim of all medical practitioners. The basic endeavour should be to cure an individual; however, if the quality of life is impacted it may not be an advisable or worthwhile process. This is the reason why there is a necessity for the integration of both. By curing someone of their disease or illness whilst concurrently giving them a high quality of life through palliative treatment, the objective is achieved. This approach is more appropriate than choosing between palliative and curative, due to the blurred boundaries between what represents curative and what represents palliative care. The natural course and the severity of the disease, and a better understanding of symptoms such as pain, cause the blurred boundaries. (Cooney, 2005). The definition between curative and palliative care are considered dichotomous. However, both methods are needed to achieve optimal results. There are many misconceptions that suggest an ‘either-or’ method. This is heightened by Medicare policies and regulations, and equivalent requirements of some health plans and insurance guidelines (Byock, 2000). Many do not understand that there is an option for both, which is the ultimate alternative. Within the health care system where cure should be valued...
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