Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) recently introduced new legislation to improve the quality of life and decrease the suffering of cancer patients as well as their families by extending research, palliative care access, awareness and training.
If approved, the legislation -- called the “Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act” -- would enhance the coordination of patients’ care, especially after they have experienced debilitating symptoms from the treatment or disease.
“ACS CAN applauds Sen. Baldwin for introducing this crucial piece of bipartisan legislation, which will help remove barriers to palliative care and give patients and survivors more control over their quality of life,” Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), said. “By building awareness and providing the necessary resources to train medical professionals who work with seriously ill patients, we can help decrease patient suffering and improve treatment outcomes.”
The legislation would create the foundation that is needed to extend the reach of palliative care, making it more accessible and available to people who have serious diseases. Additionally, the improvements would help the patients during as well as after treatments are finished.
“I’m proud to lead the introduction of the ‘Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act’ to help grow and sustain our health care workforce to safeguard and improve the quality of care for the growing number of patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses,” Baldwin said. “This issue is especially personal to me, as I was raised by my maternal grandparents and later served as my grandmother’s primary caretaker as she grew older. I know firsthand the importance of ensuring that there are enough trained health care professionals to provide quality care across the country and to fulfill the needs and wishes of patients and their families.”