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Articles on Palliative care

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People with dementia aren’t currently eligible for voluntary assisted dying. Should they be?

The NT government has invited views on access to voluntary assisted dying. But whether it should include access for those with dementia is not so clear cut.
Nurturing hope among patients with cancer and their caregivers is possible and includes coping strategies and exploring realistic goals. (Shutterstock)

Incurable but not hopeless: How hope shapes patients’ awareness of their advanced cancer prognosis

Patients with incurable cancer want to be informed about their disease and its treatment, but must also maintain hope. This inner conflict can affect how they process information about their prognosis.
Students in a death and dying class have the opportunity to become a ‘death ambassador,’ in recognition of their new level of awareness that could help foster healthy conversations about death and dying. (Shutterstock)

As a death doula and professor who teaches about dying, I see a need for more conversations about death

All of us face loss and the reality of our own mortality. Whether through in-person discussion or over social media, let’s build communities that support people navigating death and dying.
Even for an experienced health-care professional, estimating the life expectancy of a patient with a serious illness is challenging. (Shutterstock)

How long will a loved one live? It’s difficult to hear, but harder not to know

An accurate prediction of survival can enable earlier conversations about preferences and wishes at the end of life, and earlier introduction of palliative care.
There is debate about whether a health-care worker can ethically participate in both palliative care and the MAID program. (Shutterstock)

MAID’s evolving ethical tensions: Does it make dying with dignity easier than living with dignity?

Bill C-7 has created ethical tensions between MAID providers and palliative care, between transparency and patient privacy, and between offering a dignified death rather than a dignified life.
A core focus of palliative care is on easing symptoms and increasing quality of life for people who have a serious or chronic illness, and not solely for those who are dying. (Shutterstock)

Older people who are homeless need better access to hospice and palliative care

The challenging realities surrounding end-of-life care are especially difficult for older people experiencing homelessness, who have more barriers to accessing hospice care.
Several factors ranging from personal spiritual beliefs to patient relationships to medical legal issues can influence whether a health-care practitioner participates in providing medical assistance in dying (MAID). (Shutterstock)

Health-care providers and MAID: The reasons why some don’t offer medically assisted death

For people to access medical assistance in dying (MAID) requires health-care professionals willing to provide the service. The reasons health-care providers choose not to participate are important.
You can start these conversations simply, like saying, “I need to think about the future. Can you help me?” Richard Ross/The Image Bank via Getty Images

End-of-life conversations can be hard, but your loved ones will thank you

When you prepare to talk about end-of-life decisions and the legacy you want to leave behind, try thinking about them as gifts you bestow to family and friends.

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