Letters to the Editor: Hospice nurse on the ‘stunning’ difference between for-profit and nonprofit care

A pediatric hospice nurse works on her laptop bedside while her patient rests in Whittier in 2021.
A pediatric hospice nurse does some bedside work on her laptop while her patient rests in Whittier in 2021.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am a retired registered nurse. I spent my gainfully employed years in pediatric and adult oncology as well as hospice care for children and adults. I would like to thank Dr. Nathan Gray for his excellent op-ed comic on for-profit hospice care.

I experienced both nonprofit and for-profit care as an employee. I left the for-profit agency as soon as I could. The stress over costs versus care was antithetical to any oath I took to provide care.

My anger and disappointment in the care provided my mother-in-law in her last days left me in tears. As family members, we never received the emotional support so important in end-of-life care.


The recent care given my friend and her husband through the Department of Veterans Affairs was so much more appropriate and supportive. The difference was stunning.

Judith Church Bailey, Long Beach


To the editor: It is difficult to disagree with Gray’s piece on playing the profit game with a human’s precious final few moments of life.

But how is this different than profit taking in the larger picture of healthcare? Should doctors be considering the monetary consequences of delivering the best results for their patients? Should insurance companies, actuaries and corporations be involved in any way in human healthcare?

We can’t afford a better system? Taxes will go up? Well, of course taxes will go up, but insurance costs would go down, way down, or even disappear.

The richest nation on Earth can’t afford to fix a confusing healthcare system that is far too expensive? I don’t get it.


Denys Arcuri, Indio