Articles on Palliative 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.
Palliative radiation therapy is effective regardless of a patient’s original cancer site (for example breast, lung or kidney) and is usually delivered in one to 10 daily doses. (Shutterstock)

Cancer pain can be eased by palliative radiation therapy

Palliative radiation therapy can improve a cancer patient's life, by alleviating pain and other symptoms. Unfortunately, some doctors associate the term with end-of-life care and fail to refer people.
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.
In one study of seriously ill older Canadians, 28 per cent of participants wanted “comfort care” (meaning no curative treatments) but this was documented in only four per cent of their charts. (Shutterstock)

Poor communication is compromising care for the dying

Most elderly Canadians do not receive the end-of-life care they desire. A new study hopes to rectify this.
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.
Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and Finance Mr Daniel Mulino voted against the state’s assisted dying bill. JOE CASTRO/AAP Imagine

Four reasons Victorian MPs say ‘no’ to assisted dying, and why they’re misleading

The main arguments used by those who voted against assisted dying – including that the bill has insufficient safeguards – in Victoria's upper house, deserve further scrutiny.

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