Ignorance of current end-of-life care in modern Australia fuels fear of death/ end of life.
“First: many think laws for voluntary euthanasia are for burdensome treatments to be stopped, or for life‐support to be switched off, when people are about to die. But these are already best‐practice: good end of life care does not keep people lingering on endlessly.
“Second: thousands of people around the country are working long and hard, right now, to make people comfortable and to help them die well. We call this ‘palliative care’. But in a society so shielded from death, most of us know nothing about it. In the recent Western Australian debate, thirteen palliative care specialists wrote ‘We share many of the goals of those who support euthanasia,’ they wrote, meaning that they agree when patients want to cease pointless treatments, or want to die well at home. These specialists can then control symptoms sometimes by use of ‘deep sedation’ that ‘is both ethical and legal.’
This short briefing touches on:
- The fear surrounding this discussion of death;
- Two misunderstandings about end-of-life care;
- The practice of palliative care;
- The likely results of a euthanizing culture; and
- A motion now before the Sydney Diocesan Synod.
- It also lists 7 excellent links.
SIBriefing #087, 14/10/2010, Euthanizing fear: why it won’t work.