Thursday, November 19, 2009

Catholic Health Australia and Palliative Care.

A number of converging issues bring the below article about Catholic Health Australia's revision of palliative care materials to my attention: 1. Australia is in the midst of a fierce struggle over the legalization of assisted suicide (or rather aid in dying) and 2. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have recently revised the Ethical and Religious Directives that govern all care, including end of life care and the honoring of individuals' advance directives in the US. I wonder what role the Catholic church has in medicine in Australia. And I will have to do more digging to find out what this brochure says about individuals' advance directives.

In part, the article reads:

According to Professor Richard Chye, a palliative care specialist at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital who worked on the guide, this is partly due to a range of misconceptions about palliative care that are still common among health professionals.

“We know that we not only have a death-denying society but we also have a large number of death-denying health professionals,” said Professor Chye.

“Many of my colleagues, both doctors and nurses have a number of misconceptions about palliative care.

“For instance, a lot of them think palliative care is just about administering morphine and that palliative care patients only have days left to live. But giving morphine is only about 15 per cent of what I do as a clinician and as many as five per cent of my patients are still alive after 12 months.”

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home