Marlowe's Shade

Monday, May 23, 2005

Better Definition of Palliative Care as Alternative to Euthanasia

While the right-to-die movement has focused on palliative care as a screen for their more aggressive agenda, one researcher is trying to define it as an alternative to euthanasia:

A Queensland researcher believes terminally ill patients would not want to opt for euthanasia if palliative care was about more than pain management with drugs.

Queensland University of Technology PhD researcher Monika Wilson is examining patients and carers in 30 palliative care facilities in the south-east of the state and on the Darling Downs.

She says palliative care is no longer about helping people come to terms with their impending death.

"That's what palliative care is supposed to be there for - to help guide people," she said.

"To be there as a pastoral care workers or spiritual care workers ... to help them talk it out and make meaning of what it means now to be a person who is dying."

Ms Wilson says her work so far shows patients want more than pain management with drugs.

"Often people want euthanasia and want to have a way out because they haven't had the opportunities to be able to socialise and work out who they are now that they're dying and and work out what life and death is all about," she said.

I think Dr Wilson is on the right track, as long as the concept of palliative care doesn't get completely co-opted by the right to die movement. I haven't really addressed this yet, but one of the most important things that need to be addressed for the dying is a process of soul searching at the end of life. This topic has been cheapened by the K├╝bler-Rossian gobbledegook of the right-to-die movement, but it's the great need of every mortal person to have a period of setting their affairs in order both spiritually and practically if God allows.
papijoe 8:20 AM