Maryland’s Palliative Care; One of the Best in Nation
In August 2016, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released the 14th edition of their annual report measuring state activity to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, entitled “How Do You Measure Up?” This report not only measures how each state is currently doing, but also includes ideas about how policymakers can help further reduce cancer diagnosis and deaths. Notably, the report highlights the great work that Maryland is already doing in many areas including access to quality palliative care.
As we’ve discussed in the past, palliative care is a critical tool to help patients who are suffering from a serious illness to deal with the related pain and stress. Palliative care ensures these patients can have the best possible quality of life while improving health outcomes and lowering costs. And while palliative care is not exclusively for terminal patients, it is very often utilized by them.
This report’s stellar ranking for Maryland’s palliative care access (only one of 13 nationally with the report’s highest ranking) underlines what we’ve been arguing all along: why is the Maryland General Assembly even considering legalizing physician assisted suicide when Marylanders who are facing a serious illness already have excellent options to treat and care for them, including hospice and palliative care?
We’re proud that Maryland has such great palliative care. Let’s work together to continue that momentum and make sure all end of life care is as good.
Source: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, “How Do You Measure Up?”(2016) http://www.acscan.org/content/report-cards/2016/maryland/