End Of Life

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How Are We Serving Those Nearing The End Of Their Lives?

Our healthcare system has responsibility for 'cradle to grave' care but far more attention has been placed on the beginning of life, and the events during life, than at the end. Without sacrificing the gains we have made and the progress still to be made at the start of life and during life, we also need to create a strong focus about what high quality care looks like as people are diagnosed with serious illness and get closer to death.
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Physician-Assisted Dying Isn't Always A Choice For The Vulnerable

One of the consistent worries voiced throughout Canada's long national discussion of physician assisted dying is the desire to protect vulnerable people. One fear is that people with disabilities may be directly pressured or coerced into consenting to medical aid in dying. More insidiously though, vulnerable people may come to desire death due to a lack of any reasonable alternative to their suffering. For this reason, many have called for us to redouble our attention to providing access to high quality palliative care so that people are not driven toward medically assisted death by uncontrolled pain.
PhotoAlto/Michele Constantini via Getty Images

Physician-Assisted Dying Isn't Always A Choice For The Vulnerable

One of the consistent worries voiced throughout Canada's long national discussion of physician assisted dying is the desire to protect vulnerable people. One fear is that people with disabilities may be directly pressured or coerced into consenting to medical aid in dying. More insidiously though, vulnerable people may come to desire death due to a lack of any reasonable alternative to their suffering. For this reason, many have called for us to redouble our attention to providing access to high quality palliative care so that people are not driven toward medically assisted death by uncontrolled pain.
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Canadian Doctors Should Learn to Apologize

Patient Protection Canada has heard from families across the country and beyond about their horrible hospital experiences. Almost none ever received an apology. That cold, hard reality is backed up by my own experience involving the lengthy hospitalization of my elderly mother a few years ago. Despite raising a number of questions and concerns about these and other matters, and never even hinting at legal action, no apology was ever forthcoming from this major hospital.
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How to Die Well

If all this sounds too daunting, here is some language you might want to consider. Imagine turning to the person you have in mind and begin by saying something like, "I love you." If that feels like a stretch, you can always start with: "Look, I care about you, most of the time" or "What matters to you matters to me."
Alamy

Alzheimers: Caregiving, Seven Years Later

This month, my husband and I enter the seventh year of living with Alzheimer's (AD). The past seven years have been years of learning, of facing the inevitability of age, and what aging means, of stretching myself to accept new responsibilities. I am no longer the only caregiver.