After reading the Guest Editorial, “Lessons for Critical Care Nurses on Caring for the Dying? (February 2002:11), something clicked inside my head. Zara Brenner said, “Deaths are interpreted as failures, and people don’t take pride in what they could not accomplish. In the hospice/palliative care unit, success is defined by the quality of the process, not by the outcome.” With all the technological advances in the critical care setting, it is unsettling when we are not able to save someone. I asked myself throughout the article if this was a cultural phenomenon. Is it so hard to accept because we, as a country, have so many treatment options and, often, a seemingly endless resource pit?

Hospice has provided an alternative to dying in the hospital hooked up to every tube possible. I believe the concept of hospice has paved...

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