The Massachusetts Medical Society recently reversed its long-held opposition to physician-assisted suicide. A psychiatrist notes many physicians are painfully conflicted about participating.
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 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.
A palliative care doctor discusses his interactions with his patients: "I wouldn't know what I would want were I in their shoes," he says.
Our study found people held narrow, often inaccurate and outdated understandings of palliative care.
Australia has few public rituals around death, leaving people to figure out how to process grief alone. But Mexico's Day of the Dead, with its focus on art and community, could help us cope better.
Here are some tips if you are looking after someone who is nearing the end of their life.
While there are similarities in the general principles of palliative care provided to children and adults, there are also key differences.
When a person has a serious illness, palliative care aims to improve that person's quality of life.
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.
Teaching students to care for the dying requires specific skills that the student may not encounter in their ordinary clinical teaching.
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.
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.
There are some myths about dying that perhaps unexpectedly harm the dying person and deserve scrutiny.
Millions of people are affected by death and dying – but politicians don't want to talk about it.
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?
Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients and families facing problems associated with life threatening illnesses.
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?
We use euphemisms about death and dying to soften the blow of the real words, or because we feel awkward being direct. But this can lead to misunderstanding and confusion.
Discussing end-of-life care -helps patients, their families and their healthcare teams plan for the future and end of life care.