We have shared directly on Facebook a number of items from what’s been a busy week on the issue of death and dying:
* About the Victorian inquiry into end of life choices, from our colleagues at DwDVic:
A very brief report by Victorian MP Fiona Patten from Thursday 23 July the first day of public hearings of the Victorian inquiry into end of life choices: Some key information from the first day of the End Of Life Choices Inquiry: 1. For many, a good death means “to be able to leave when it is time to go, and to not have life prolonged”; and 2. 60-70% of Australians would prefer to die at home. To do this, good end-of-life services must be available. #endoflifechoices
(Note: Transcripts for all the Victorian inquiry hearings will be available on the inquiry website as they become available – http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic/article/2610)
* Death and dying:
This is a great article from SBS News addressing some of the broader issues about death. It’s seen too often as a failure to win a fight/battle rather than an end of life about which we need and can make choices to die as well as we can according to our own beliefs, values and what’s important to us. See article …
* The importance of expressing your wishes – and AMA hypocrisy:
In the article from ABC News on 23 July, it is reported that University of New South Wales professor of sociology Alex Broom says discussing death — even in a casual setting — is important for the individual, loved ones and society as a whole. The article also reports that the AMA has used Family Doctor Week to encourage everyone — old or young, sick or healthy — to talk about death and dying and to make plans for end of life care. Read more …
These are important and valuable points. What is hypocritical is that the AMA wants us to talk about death and express our wishes – just as long as we don’t expect them to be respected and met if we need or want assisted dying. It’s time there was a ‘conversation’ in the AMA about the taboo of admitting that doctors can’t relieve all end of life suffering and they need to respect both patients and doctors who want the choice of assisted dying when they run out of options.
* More Medical Association hypocrisy:
In another article this week, there are more Medical Association (NZ) hypocritical ‘weasel words’. The “firmly anti-euthanasia” NZMA considers it’s “within the ethical boundaries of their profession” to relieve suffering by withdrawing treatment or giving extra pain relief “in the probability it may hasten death”, but relieving intolerable suffering through assisted dying when patients and doctors have no other options is not ethical. How long can Medical Associations including the AMA maintain this cruel nonsense? See article …
If you see any media or articles you think we might have missed, please let us know.