Articles on End of life care

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A person wanting to access voluntary assisted dying must meet strict criteria, including having a medical condition that is considered to be advanced and progressive. From shutterstock.com

WA’s take on assisted dying has many similarities with the Victorian law – and some important differences

Western Australia might soon become the second state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Its proposed law draws on the Victorian model, but has some important differences, too.
On June 19, Victoria will become the first state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying. From shutterstock.com

We don’t know all the details of how voluntary assisted dying will work yet – but the system is ready

As we sit on the cusp of voluntary assisted dying becoming legal in Victoria, we expect it won't always be simple for people who want it to access it – at least in the legislation's early days.
On May 16, 2019, Madeleine Munier Apaire (shown here in June 2014), lawyer for Vincent Lambert’s nephew, considered that all remedies were “exhausted”. Eric Feferberg/AFP

Vincent Lambert: what are the legal and ethical issues?

The debate over Mr. Vincent Lambert's decision to discontinue his care overshadowed equally important judicial and ethical issues. A look back at a complex situation that will set a precedent.
Palliative care nurses, social workers and people from the funeral industry are among those who work as death doulas. From shutterstock.com

Death doulas can fill care gaps at the end of life

You've more than likely heard of birth doulas. But nowadays, death doulas are providing support at the end of life. How they fit into existing structures of care remains to be understood.
Symptoms of an illness usually improve the closer a person gets to dying. Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

No, most people aren’t in severe pain when they die

Excruciating pain at the end of life is extremely rare. The evidence shows pain and other symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia and breathing issues, actually improve as people move closer to death.
Medical assistance in dying has been legal in Canada since July 2016, but there are no ‘specialists’ responsible for doctor-assisted suicide and many doctors are overwhelmed with requests. (Shutterstock)

Who will be the doctors of death in a time of assisted suicide?

More than 2,000 Canadians have chosen medical assistance in dying (MAID) since legalization in 2016. But palliative care doctors aren't embracing assisted suicide as part of their job.

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