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J Korean Med Assoc. 2001 Sep;44(9):941-947. Korean. Original Article.
Lee KS .

Cancer is the most common cause of death in Korea. Therefore, the care of terminally ill cancer patients represents a major issue of Korean welfare. Because of lack of hospice and palliative care education and government support, most terminally ill cancer patients are not given proper care with due human dignity. The hospice and palliative care education include a change of physicians attitudes toward patients and their family members control of symptoms, such as pain, for a high quality of life, total care with a team approach, and home care. When the physicians' attitudes become changed, the patient and his or her family would feel that they still retain human dignity and experience the best quality of life with the help of team approach. For the symptom control in terminally ill cancer patients, control of pain is most important and is possible in 97% of patients with opioids. Also, the medical costs are highest in terminal stage of cancer and hospice may be a solution to reduce the cost. The hospice insurance for the terminally ill cancer patients is covered by government in many oriental countries, such as Japan, Hongkong, Singapore, and Taiwan, because it can reduce medical costs and improve the welfare of patients. The joint committee of Korean Society of Hospice·Palliative care, Korean Hospice Care, and Catholic Hospice Care have been asking for the national hospice insurance to the Korean government since 1988, to no effect. In conclusion, the hospice and palliative care should be supported by government as well as medical field.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.