The nation’s leading physician-assisted suicide organization has found that gynecological patients who seek out help to end their lives are “too busy” to receive the care they need.
The National Gynecologic Society (NGS) released the results of a survey that found the average nurse who treated a woman in hospice in 2018 received nearly two hours of care per day, with one-third of the patients in hospices receiving no care at all.
The survey, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, surveyed 1,079 RNs across the country and included questions about patients’ physical and mental health and how they were treated.
The results were published online Wednesday by The Hill.
While nurse care is vital to end a life, the survey found that patients are “not receiving the appropriate care” from providers, the report said.
In some cases, nursing home residents were not even aware that hospice care was available.
“It’s a situation that has gotten worse,” said NGS President Susan DeNardo.
“If we’re not seeing it, we’re missing it.”
Nurses are trained to care for patients who are terminally ill or have terminal illnesses, and many are trained in assisted suicide.
However, DeNardos study found that nurses were not trained to recognize the signs of an end-of-life crisis and could not communicate with patients about what is required to end life.
“Many of the issues that are identified in our survey, it’s not really addressed,” DeNino said.
“And so we are very concerned about the lack of training.”
The study also found that nearly one in three RNs said they are “disappointed” in their current nursing jobs, and the survey also found a growing trend of women opting out of nursing because of the high cost of caring for patients.
DeNio said she believes the problem lies with the healthcare system, not with nursing homes.
“I think the real reason for that is because of what the government is doing,” De Nardo said.
“[The government] has made it harder to have a decent life, and so many people are living in fear.”
The survey also revealed that many of the nursing home patients who wanted help to die had received inadequate care.
More than one-quarter of the surveyed patients said their primary care physicians did not provide adequate hospice services, while less than one in five patients said they received hospice help in their home.
Nursing homes, including nursing homes in rural areas, were also cited for providing inadequate hospice support.
A recent federal study found one-fifth of nursing home beds had beds that were too small, and that one-in-four nursing homes had insufficient bed space.
In addition, nursing homes have been cited for insufficient staff training, inadequate staffing, and inadequate staffing.
Nursing home administrators say they have addressed these issues, and are working to ensure hospice beds are large enough for the number of patients that the system expects to see.
The NGS report also found some hospice facilities are not adequately training staff, and some patients have been refused care at hospitals or doctors offices because they did not have proper paperwork.
“There’s so much work that needs to be done,” DeDeo said.
The findings come after an increase in the number and severity of suicides by nursing home inmates and their family members.
In 2018, about 2,800 people committed suicide in U.s. hospices, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
While the number is down from a high of nearly 13,000 deaths in 2017, suicides continue to occur.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicides by family members increased nearly 300 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Many of the suicides by inmates were caused by drug abuse and other issues.
According to a report released last year by the National Coalition for the Homeless, more than half of the people in homeless shelters are under the age of 40.
“These statistics show that the death of a loved one has a significant impact on their community,” DeSoto said.