Creating Waves of Awareness
HOSPICE AND HOMEOPATHY
I recently had an opportunity of undergoing a “volunteers course “ on subject of Hospice.
The subject was new and for me intriguing.
I was always under an impression of the fact that HOSPICE was a a hospital where terminally ill
patients were kept in the last days of their life. In a way true, but there is much more to it when when one goes deeper into the subject
Its in essence a movement with various aspects, covering patient care with medicine ,and the surrounding where he or she is stationed .It also involves the family physician, the family's chief caregiver whether a husband, wife, children of adult age,son or daughter and finally the Hospice who are suppose to coordinate and over see day to day care ,that is if a Hospice is selected and agreed upon by the family. In USA the rules of HOSPICE are well defined and regulated.
In some cases the patient remains at his own home where he may be directly looked after by the family physician with the help and support of family members .I have had a personal experience of this situation when my own brother was declared terminally ill in Calcutta after fighting various illness and finally it was Colon cancer which resulted in his death.
Though we did not opt for putting him in some Hospice in Calcutta, but in my opinion he died knowing that he had his family around him when his last moments had come. And his wife held his hand as he passed away finally.
One room in our house was converted into a HOSPICE, the chief care givers responsibility was my sister in law ,where as all other members of the household remained stand by for various duties. There was an oncologist who was in attendance on call.
At one stage two very famous Homeopathic doctors were consulted ,one was Late Dr Bholanath eminent Homeopath of Calcutta, the other being One Dr Banerjee. Their prescription of medicine helped in alleviating his severe pain, and other issues including hallucination. The patient would himself ask for homeopathic medicine to be given as he found it gave him relief from pain and hallucination. I will talk about the medicine used later.
I would like to mention here the true story of Morrie Schwartz, professor of sociology,whose “lesson on living” has been very well documented in live interviews done by Tedd Koppel a leading anchor with CBS television.
The documentary records the professor's philosophy of life and death as he narrates in his own words his inner feelings, from his wheel chair and later in bed as life slowly ebbed out of him.
Mitch Albom was one of his student ,who wrote a best seller “Tuesday with Morrie” based on his weekly visit to meet and record the professors last days.
Morrie had decided to spend the last days of his life after being diagnosed with ALS disease for which there is no cure. The atmosphere of his room was similar to a Hospice, and he had refused to die in a hospital ICU.
Coming back to the subject of Hospice,we will try to see how the movement of Hospice evolved.
It is derived from the word “Hospitium” which means guest house. Its history goes back to the middle ages,when religious groups provided resting places for travelers going on pilgrimage.
Present day Hospice was the result of a movement which began in England during 60's .The first one founded in London was called St Christopher's in 1967.
The first USA Hospice came up in Connecticut in 1974.Today in USA hospice movement is offered by medical insurance companies and some nursing homes are also covered by them.
The essence of philosophy behind Hospice are as follows:
Death is a natural part of cycle of life
Hospice supports patients who have a desire to die with dignity and have as much control as possible.
Hospice aggressively manages pain and symptoms. It is holistic and recognizes that pain and suffering may be physical, emotional, spiritual,or social.
Here one can see the Homeopathic philosophy that it emanates from above statement. Hospice supports person in hope that they may live as fully and as comfortably as possible.
( without the need of artificially keeping a person alive with all the contraptions attached to his body, which he neither feels nor understand, and his brain is also not responding. He can neither speak,nor feel, nor move.)
Now I will dilate about homeopathic medicines and their use, during its use in terminally ill patients.
There are no specific medicine,and selection depends on the rules of homeopathic philosophy of “Like cures like”.
In my brothers case some of the medicines I recollect were, BUFO, IPEC, CARB VEG, NUX, RHUS TOX etc. They were dispensed for pain, hallucination, bloating, nausea,etc. What was noticeable was that BUFO would reduce his cancer pains, and he would ask for it.
Dr Kent,s article “ How to ensure easy death” discusses some of the medicine he had used on terminally ill patient:
PHOS : “ When hectic fever, that so rapidly burns the patient up, is in full blast, with hot afternoon skin, the night sweat, the constant burning thirst, the red spot on the cheek, the diarrhea, the stool escapes when coughing , the intense fever in afternoon ,the constriction of chest, suffocation etc. Then should PHOS very high be administered, but never repeated. Aggravation will follow but it must not be meddled with as it will soon pass off leaving the patient free from fever and he will go on till death may turn comfortably”
Dr Kent goes on to mention other medicines to relieve the suffering of dying patient, CARBO, ARS, SECALE, LYC, LACHESIS, etc.
Dr Stewart Close MD,has also penned a thought provoking article titled as “ Homeopathy in terminal condition and apparently incurable disease- Is it sufficient.” It is worth reading by homeopaths.
I hope that with this article I have broached the subject for other members to share their experiences with HWC.
Will it not be a great achievement if there were HOSPICES with homeopathy as the main system of medicine in addition to the conventional system? This is my hope,desire, and prayer.