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Articles on end-of-life care

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In a research study, 84 per cent of residents and families who received a pamphlet about end-of-life choices felt encouraged to think about their future care. (Shutterstock)

To die well, we must talk about death before the end of life

The seriously ill and their families often want to protect each other from thoughts of death. Conversation about end-of-life choices are, however, essential to a good death.
Jean Truchon, right, looks on as lawyer Jean-Pierre Menard gives their reaction to a Québec judge overturning parts of provincial and federal laws on medically assisted dying on September 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The latest medical assistance in dying decision needs to be appealed: Here’s why

One judge must not be allowed to curtail parliament’s power to promote broader societal interests and protect people who are elderly, ill and disabled.
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.
A team of Canadian therapists have filed an application with Health Canada seeking permission to provide psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to patients with terminal cancer. (Shutterstock)

What if psychedelics could revolutionize the way you die?

Research shows therapeutic psilocybin to be a safe and effective antidote to end-of-life anxiety and depression. Does prohibition therefore violate our right to "life, liberty and security?"
The province of Nova Scotia is leading the way in defining the terms of Canada’s ambiguous law on medically assisted dying. Here Liana Brittain is seen in Halifax in front of a projection of her late husband Paul B. Couvrette, who received a medically assisted death in P.E.I. on Sept. 15, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Can we die? The seriously ill need clarity

In Nova Scotia, it's clearer now who qualifies for medical assistance in dying. Will the other provinces and territories follow suit?
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.
Debbie Ziegler, mother of the late Brittany Maynard, in Sacramento in September 2015, encouraging the passage of California’s End-of-Life Options Act. Maynard, who had brain cancer, had to move to Oregon so she could end her life legally in 2014. AP Photo/Carl Costas

Death as a social privilege? How aid-in-dying laws may be revealing a new health care divide

People who seek aid in dying tend to be white men older than 65, a new analysis shows. While this could be due to religious views, here's why it could also be because of lack of access.

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