A recent Fox New article titled “Blacks Not Taking Advantage of Hospice Services” gives some interesting statistics about hospice demographics.
In 2005, 82.2% of those receiving hospice care were white, while 7.5% identified themselves are black or African-American. This according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
They also site, per the Census Bureau, that about 75% of the country is white, while 12% is black.
So, if Census Bureau stats are correct, then the hospice stats don’t really seem to be out of line. However, what is disturbing is that a 2007 report from the California Heath Care Foundation reported that some minorities and immigrants view hospice as a way for doctors to deny them the medical care based on race. In addition, some people think that by making the patient stay at home, and not in a hospital, the medical system doesn’t care about what is happening to them.
Therefore, this issue, not unlike several end of life issues, comes down to lack of understanding and education about a topic, or a service in this case.
Remember, no matter what your end of life service of product, the best way to advocate for all people, is through education.