Homepage, News

When it comes to ageism, are we fighting a losing battle?

by Catherine Foot, Centre for Ageing Better, 1 May 2017

Ageism is the last socially normal, socially acceptable form of prejudice. It’s been internalised, ingrained in us. It’s the last taboo.

People tend to think of ageing in terms of loss: whether it’s of loved ones; physical and mental capability; or independence, identity and sense of purpose.

Ultimately, we can’t prevent these losses, but I believe our response to longer lives needs to do six things to manage them and prevent ‘internalised ageism’ from taking root…

Read the full article here.

 

 

 

Homepage, News

Euthanasia bill ‘dangerous’ – Palliative care workers

by Emma Hatton, Radio New Zealand, 27 April 2018

The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada are some of the countries where euthanasia has been legalised.

But, Professor MacLeod said there was no place yet, where the law provided absolute safety to those who were vulnerable.

“There is no jurisdiction anywhere across the world that has produced a law that is safe – there have been cracks in all of them.”

Te Omanga Hospice medical director, Ian Gwynne-Robson, said one issue for the sector was ensuring it had enough experienced doctors.

He said if euthanasia was an option, inexperienced doctors may offer it as the best option, when this might not be the case.

  • Click here to read the full article.
Homepage, News

Comfort care, palliative care, hospice care explained after Barbara Bush’s death

by Nicole Villalpando, austin360, 18 April 2018

Choosing comfort care means that you are choosing treatment for comfort instead of a cure. If you had a disease like cancer, you would be deciding that you are no longer going to pursue chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Instead of curative treatments, doctors focus on treatments to provide a good quality of life. “You’re forgoing life-extending treatments,” she says. 

People often confuse comfort care with hospice care or palliative care.

  • Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

She spent her working life caring for patients who were dying. Now she’s one of them

by Jessica Long, Stuff, 30 March 2018

She says talking about her journey through Mary Potter Hospice is a final service to her community. Without palliative care, she expects she would have been “completely lost”.

“To me, hospice care is about very holistic care. It’s not a number or person in front of you that gets diagnosed. It’s an entire family and their community. 

“I felt very ready to cope with things because of that [support]. To accept death and dying as a part of life.

“It’s really uplifting.”

  • Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

‘Glimpse from heaven’: Nurses reveal what people say before they die

The New Zealand Herald, 20 March 2018

Lead author Kurt Gray said: “When we imagine our emotions as we approach death, we think mostly of sadness and terror.

“But it turns out, dying is less sad and terrifying – and happier – than you think.

“In our imagination, dying is lonely and meaningless, but the final blog posts of terminally ill patients and the last words of death row inmates are filled with love, social connection and meaning.”

  • Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Positive and Negative Medical Developments

by Professor Michael Kennedy, Australian Medical Association, 14 March 2018

Frequently, patients suffering from neuromuscular degenerative diseases appear in the media supporting euthanasia. The eminent neurologists John Walton and Roger Bannister were among the strongest public and at committee level opponents of euthanasia legislation. There are many drugs now in the clinical trial stage that may considerably improve the outlook of these patients. When penicillin was first used in a patient with terminal sepsis it was described by the administering doctors as a ‘miracle’.

  • Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

Lives are precious, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

The New Zealand Herald, 28 February 2018

Most older people I know, like me, forget names, lose their keys, and fairly often can’t find things they know they put somewhere. They have aches and pains and don’t enjoy them, don’t have their youthful libido, and may not feel confident climbing up ladders any more, but they don’t want to die.

Old age is not for sissies. Sometimes we are sissies anyway, but while the sight of a small flock of wax eyes feeding among flowers still makes us smile we are in and of the world, and our lives are precious.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Click here to read the full article.
Homepage, News

What happens when a patient says, ‘Doc, help me die’

by E. Wes Ely, CNN, 20 March 2018

I pulled a chair next to his bed so we could talk at eye level. His face was blank. “I want euthanasia. I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point of living longer? I’m just wasted space.”

I felt nauseated. The illegality of euthanasia was not what ran through my mind. Instead I thought about how Paul had lost his sense of personhood. I thought about how I had chosen to become a doctor in the first place.

The problem with assisted suicide and euthanasia for Paul — and for others — is that it presented him with an illusion of ‘cure,’ when in reality it would have left him devoid of the healing he received.

  • Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

Nurses’ unique perspectives on end-of-life choices must be heard

by Taumihau Teremoana, Nursing Review, 1 February 2018

The topic of end-of-life care without fail brings up the “ineffectiveness” or “effectiveness” of our palliative and hospice Services. I would like to weigh in on this argument as a registered nurse who has seen for seven years the direct impact of resourcing on the delivery of patient services.

Our pride in holistic care; critical thinking and unique perspectives need to be included in these discussions. As for my opinion: I’ve concluded that this Bill, although presenting itself as a compassionate means of addressing suffering, will unfortunately fail to achieve this holistically in our society.

  • Click here to read the full article.
Homepage, News

My wife reversed her Do Not Resuscitate order – I can’t support euthanasia

by Name Withheld, Stuff, 27 December 2017

In early 2017 my wife received a double lung transplant. Her recovery was not straightforward.

On day 10 she had developed respirator acquired pneumonia. Doctors were hopeful for her recovery, but warned me that because her immune system was being suppressed (to prevent rejection of the new lungs), it was not certain.

On day 12, a Friday, I was told she almost certainly was not going to recover. I was warned that early the following week a decision about terminating life support would need to be made.

My wife’s doctor has since admitted that at that point the medical team believed she was going to die.

Despite this they did not stop assisting her fight for life. They tried two treatments they had previously been reluctant to attempt because they were high-risk. Over the next few days, my wife’s condition slowly improved. Now, eight months later, she is still in recovery but looking forward to an extended life span.

  • Click here to read the full article.