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.
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?
We can’t say whether introducing competition to the health sector would work in the same way as other markets.
Headlines pointed to the privatisation of hospital, end-of-life and dental services, but the Productivity Commission's report is actually a lot less radical.
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?
Palliative care aims to comfort rather than cure.
Palliative care should be a time of shared care; when the doctor continues treating their patient's disease while symptom control and preparation for death track alongside.
There doesn’t need to be a choice between palliative care or assisted dying.
The assisted dying debate usually focuses on the moment of death - not those leading up to it.
Care by Shutterstock
People at the end of life may not actually be the best target for expensive drugs.
Most Australians would rather die at home than in a hospital ward, so why aren’t we enabling this?
Despite Australians' wishes, we spend more on people dying in hospital than enabling them to die at home.
ABC’s Q&A subtly but importantly changed the nature of the euthanasia debate.
It's possible the difference between Australia and the Netherlands (where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal) lies more in the way we think about what we are doing than what actually happens.
Hard going and not for everyone.
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Palliative care is a choice and for some the preferable option.
Unfortunately for every “good” death, there are many which are much more stormy and drawn out.
Most people in western societies die in hospital or in institutional care. Keeping death out of sight and out of mind means few people have real experience of death and dying.
It’s the exceptional cases you hear about.
Studies have found that doctors often overestimate survival in terminally ill patients, not the other way round.
Dying with dignity.
Systemic change is need to ensure that patients' voices are heard when doctors make decisions about end-of-life care.
Most children have never had legal capacity and are reliant on parents to make health-care decisions for them.
The diagnosis of a palliative illness in a child or adolescent is devastating for all involved: parents, family members and the children themselves, as they grieve for life they had planned and believed…
We all have the legal right to refuse health care.
Have you thought about how you would want to be treated if you cannot make your own decisions? You may be unconscious after car accident, you may be so ill you cannot communicate, or you may be dying and…
Coming to terms.
Dying by Shutterstock
Every year around half a million people die in England. The success of medicine over the past decades has led to a sustained rise in the average human life expectancy: a third of children born today will…
Dying is increasingly medicalised - but it doesn’t make things better.
We need to do more to ease the pain and suffering of terminally ill patients and allow people to die comfortably, with dignity, and at peace. This is the issue being debated today in the House of Lords…
Taking a fresh look.
Very few, if any, medical students would say their reason for wanting to become a doctor is so they can face death on a regular basis. Yet it is a crucially important part of the job, especially when patients…