Symptoms of an illness usually improve the closer a person gets to dying.
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash
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.
The bill to legalise assisted dying was introduced to the NSW Legislative Council in September, 2017.
The NSW bill leaves significant questions unanswered, disquieting ethicists, lawyers and doctors.
Palliative care specialists also need to pay attention to a sick child’s siblings.
While there are similarities in the general principles of palliative care provided to children and adults, there are also key differences.
Palliative care involves a team of specialised health professionals who provide an extra layer of support to the person and their family.
When a person has a serious illness, palliative care aims to improve that person's quality of life.
While assisted dying is contentious, access to palliative care should not be.
One would think governments would do all they could to ensure palliative care is available to all who need it. This is not the case in Australia today.
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.
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.
Respecting the autonomy of young people in their health-care choices is important.
The Victorian law provides if a child has made a valid advance directive including instructions to refuse a particular medical treatment, a health practitioner must not provide that treatment.
Supporters outside the now-abandoned case in the British High Court, rallying for infant Charlie Gard to travel to the US for experimental treatment.
The high-profile Charlie Gard case could change the way end-of-life decisions play out around the world.
Assisted dying legislation is likely to be introduced in Victorian Parliament within a month, and be based on a report launched today by Brian Owler and Jill Hennessy.
Public opinion, shifting views in the health profession and international trends allowing assisted dying mean it will be lawful in Australia at some point. But will it be lawful in Victoria soon?
There are very few palliative care facilities in Africa.
Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients and families facing problems associated with life threatening illnesses.
Existential suffering refers to an individual experiencing a lack of meaning or sense of purposelessness in life.
Imagine this situation: a person has no medical illness but wishes to end his or her life purely because he or she no longer wishes to live. Should they be eligible for euthanasia or assisted suicide?
Talking about advance care planning should be seen as part of palliative care.
Discussing end-of-life care -helps patients, their families and their healthcare teams plan for the future and end of life care.
Author Nikki Gemmell speaking on Q&A.
During a discussion on Q&A, author Nikki Gemmell said 80% of Australians and up to 70% of Catholics and Anglicans support euthanasia laws. Is that right?
One paper reported that between 0.3% to 4.6% of all deaths are reported as euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide in jurisdictions where they are legal.
There is a growing body of evidence available on how many people are using euthanasia and assisted dying laws in places where it is legal.
Among doctors, there seems to be broad consensus about the relevance of double effect in end-of-life care.
Euthanasia and palliative sedation are categorically distinct, so the notion that we can use the latter to achieve the former is untenable.
Barbiturates have been used for several purposes including to treat sleep disorders, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury – as well as in anaesthesia and psychiatry.
It is likely that, ironically, any legalisation of euthanasia in this country will actually hinder the care of those most in need.
How can we help the one in three people in hospital end-of-life care who suffer from delirium?
Antipsychotic medications for delirium don't work and could harm, a new study shows. So what options are left?
Having an advance care directive ensures your values and wishes are known, even beyond a time when you can no longer speak for yourself.
At least one-third of patients receive non-beneficial treatments at the end of their life. Having a good advance care directive that you share with others helps them know and respect your wishes.
Research shows some families pressure doctors to attempt heroic interventions on elderly relatives.
Javier Sánchez Salcedo/Flickr
We found one third of patients near the end of their life received non-beneficial treatments in hospitals around the world. These included initiating chemotherapy and providing emergency surgery.
California is the fifth state to legalize aid in dying.
Hands image via www.shutterstock.com.
Why have Americans become more receptive to aid in dying, a practice that was rejected throughout the United States until Oregon changed course in 1997?