24. Hospice Care: Default Beyond a Certain Age

Hospice care should be the default form of care for patients who are effectively bed-ridden, have terminal prognosis and who are older than the current life expectancy at birth plus 5 years. If the family of a patient requests that curative treatments continue, the medical team will assess the prospects for recovery and, in consultation with the family, decide whether such treatments are warranted. If it is determined that additional curative treatments are not warranted, but the family insists that they be continued anyway, then they should be continued with the family picking up the bill for such treatments.

Hospice care should also be imposed on patients younger than the above threshold if they otherwise meet the same criteria and consistently express a wish to die. However, if the family insists on continued curative treatments against the medical team’s recommendations, then the family should only be required to pay half the cost of such treatments until the patient reaches the age of life expectancy at birth plus 5 years, at which point the family would be required to pay all costs associated with continued curative care.

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