Homepage, News

Physician-assisted suicide won’t atone for medicine’s ‘original sin’

by Dr Ira Byock, StatNews, 31 January 2018

From its inception, the profession of medicine has been charged with guiding society in matters related to health and wellbeing. Organized medicine should now be leading the charge for substantial improvements in caring for incurably ill patients. Instead, in several states the profession has begun to embrace physician-hastened death.

In today’s high-tech medicine, doctors treat disease. Patients’ well-being gets short shrift. When disease can no longer be kept at bay, modern medicine tends to give up altogether.

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

Terry Sarten: Quality end-of-life care should be nation’s priority

by Terry Sarten, The New Zealand Herald, 21 January 2018

Voicing the notion of “not being a burden” is often heard here in New Zealand from those who have serious life-threatening illnesses. We can shift that burden by acknowledging the value of quality end-of-life care and pressuring government to fund it effectively.

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

The Alarming Trend Of Bullying Hospitals And Hospices Into Assisted Suicide

by Dr Will Johnston, Huffpost, 29 January 2018

Before they got their way in the Canadian Supreme Court, the public posture of euthanasia advocates was one of caution, reassurance and limitation of objectives. After their victory, partisans of the medical killing movement have become impatient with individuals or institutions who want no part in suicide and euthanasia. Activists recommend expanding access to include all the people who were strategically excluded from the plan that had been sold to the public: children, people with chronic nonfatal conditions, the physically disabled, the cognitively disabled, psychiatric patients.

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

No, most people aren’t in severe pain when they die

by Kathy Eagar, Sabina Clapham, and Samuel Allingham, The Conversation, 11 December 2017

Many people fear death partly because of the perception they might suffer increasing pain and other awful symptoms the nearer it gets. There’s often the belief palliative care may not alleviate such pain, leaving many people to die excruciating deaths.

But an excruciating death is extremely rare.

  1. Click here to read the full article.
  2. Kathy Eagar is Professor and Director at Australian Health Services Research Institute University of Wollongong, University of Wollongong
  3. Sabina Clapham is a Research fellow, Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration, University of Wollongong
  4. Samuel Allingham is a Research Fellow, Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong
Homepage, News

Dr Sinead Donnelly: Palliative medicine uses morphine with care

by Sinead Donnelly, The New Zealand Herald, 15 December 2017

Politicians do great harm to the perception of medical practice, and instil unnecessary fear and anxiety in the minds of the public, by promulgating, on national television, incorrect, misleading and unsubstantiated statements.

“By promoting the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide, David Seymour’s bill is seeking to change the nature of our medical profession from ‘care always’ to ‘why be careful!'”

Click here to read the full article.

 

Homepage, News

We do not like to talk about death – but that doesn’t make euthanasia the answer

by Richard Chye, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2017

However, my view, after a lifetime’s work in palliative care – having stood at the bedside of literally thousands of dying people – is that none of the issues that bring us to this point will be solved by introducing assisted suicide.

What will help requires far more of ourselves, our institutions and authorities: the adequate funding of quality palliative care for all, and nothing short of a revolutionary change in the way we discuss, respond to, and accept death – both as individuals and as a society.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Palliative care experts warn NSW assisted dying bill ‘unsafe’

by Sean Nicholls, The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 November 2017

Dr Frank Brennan said “too often the debate is characterised as a simple choice between suffering and choosing physician assisted suicide or euthanasia”.

“A day of anguish may be followed by a day of calm,” he said.

“To proceed with physician assisted suicide or euthanasia in a period of despair ignores this ebb and flow”.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

It’s not all about death: conversations with patients in palliative care

by Matthew Grant, The Conversation, 3 November 2017

Yet working in palliative care involves surprisingly little immediate dying.

Yes we work with people who have incurable illnesses, but their prognoses vary between weeks, months and even years. And we see other patients potentially being cured but who experience significant side effects from treatment.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Euthanasia: Doctors’ licence to kill limits aged-care options

by Angela Shanahan, The Australian, 21 October 2017

For all the talk of autonomy, euthanasia is giving doctors a ­licence to kill. Of course, we must ask ourselves how institutionalising this practice will affect the care of the disabled and particularly the frail aged. How far will it lead to a ­euthanasia mentality? ­Already doctors have expressed concern that more resources will go towards people who want ­assisted suicide than those who want palliative care.

The head of palliative care at St Vincent’s in Melbourne has pointed out the illogicality of the Victorian legislation, which will, if a terminally ill person wants euthanasia, allow for multiple medical and psychiatric assessments — but the same resources will not be available for a person who wants palliative care. In effect, we will prioritise suicide over palliative care. There is something gravely wrong in that logic.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Palliative care gave me a better quality of life

by Áilín Quinlan, The Irish Examiner, 14 September 2017

“I was in a very dark place at the time, and up to that point, palliative care to me was synonymous with death and dying,” he [Donal Crowley] recalls.

“People think that palliative care is all about dying,” says Ann McAtamney, Assistant Director of Nursing and Palliative Care at Marymount Hospice, who has worked in this area for the past 26 years.

In fact, she says, “it is about helping people live a better quality of life with a life-limiting condition.”

Click here to read the full article.