ACS CAN Launches New Advertising Campaign to Focus on Palliative Care

If you live in D.C., you might have noticed a new ad today in a Capitol Hill newspaper like National Journal or online on a site such as The Hill’s Healthwatch blog. I’m excited to announce that we launched our new advertising campaign today, which asks lawmakers to support legislation introduced last week that would expand access to palliative care.

The ad illustrates how palliative care sees the person beyond the cancer treatment. It features a woman in ballet shoes above the word “cancer,” which has been changed to read “dancer.” She symbolizes how palliative care puts the patient in control by managing pain and other symptoms, coordinating care among doctors and nurses and giving the patient a say in determining the course of treatment and follow-up care.

As I mentioned above, we launched the campaign to coincide with two bills that were introduced in Congress last week that would expand access to palliative care for those with chronic disease such as cancer. The ads, which will run in Capitol Hill publications in print and online for the next two weeks, are intended to educate lawmakers and their staff about palliative care and how it can restore patients’ quality of life by treating them as well as their disease.

With public opinion research revealing that seven in ten Americans do not know what palliative care is, we have a lot of educating to do. But I’m confident that the power of this ad campaign will have a strong impact in Washington, D.C. and that our future efforts can build off of the message of this ad.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new ad.

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  • Posted by Sharon Steinman  on August 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Dear Riverwolf,

    I’m glad the person you knew had excellent access to the medical care that they needed towards the end of their life, and that a fine team of medical personnel was available. I applaud the efforts of conscientious health care providers to do everything they can to make the last days of our patients as comfortable as possible. As you can see we already have very fine palliative care in place in our existing medical system. But you misunderstand this new legislation. It is meant to cut costs. It is meant to keep the oldest, the weakest and the sickest away from costly heroic measures to save their lives in favor of palliative care. It is a means of rationing medical care. Whether or not a terminally ill patient wants to do everything to save their life should be the patient’s choice; however, we are moving in direction that “culls the heard”, so to speak. My complaint with this new bill is that no money is going directly toward patient care, rather it funnels more of our tax dollars to the medical educators to teach doctors how to keep the patient comfortable, but spend less money on them, by encouraging them to end, not extend their lives. You need to read Ezekiel Emanuel’s article from the Lancet entitled “Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions”, to understand more about the direction we are headed.

  • Posted by Riverwolf  on July 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    To “Sharon”: How is this a “death panel?” I cared for someone who died from cancer, and palliative care made all the difference in the world. He had the coordinated care this ad talks about, he had access to nurses, counselors and other professionals who could work with his oncology team but also plan for the inevitable. Fortunately, he was able to pay for all this—but what about those who aren’t aware of these services? What about those who cannot afford this type of care on their own. Geez, if you’re a physician, as you claim, I’d hate to be your patient. So much for a bedside manner. Seems you prefer politics over patients. NO THANKS!

  • Posted by Sharon Steinman  on July 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    The Palliative Care Act already impedes on the patient-doctor relationship, and now we get an additional installment in order to educate the undergraduate and graduate medical professionals in this dogma? NO

  • Posted by Sharon Steinman  on July 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Sneaky. I’m physician and I know what palliative care is. NO. Do you know what our national debt is? No more spending…and especially not in this area, which you tout as focusing on the whole person but is really end of life care. NO. No to death panels.

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