Palliative care and VAD are not mutually exclusive

Andrew denton gga cropped

Palliative care and VAD are not mutually exclusive

Andrew Denton has written a piece for The Australian entitled ‘The dying deserve a compassionate choice when palliative care fails’. Amongst many compelling points, Denton says “The late Clive Deverall, founder of Palliative Care WA, wrote about this last year…Deverall was deeply saddened that some were determined to make this a war between assisted dying and palliative care. He understood, as do the eminent palliative care physicians helping to write Victoria’s law, that assisted dying works alongside palliative care. It is one more option available to a patient and their doctors at the end of life. This is borne out in Oregon, where assisted dying has been legal for 20 years, and where 90 per cent of patients assisted to die are also in hospice care. Support for excellent palliative care and voluntary assisted dying are not mutually exclusive.”

Click for article ‘The dying deserve a compassionate choice when palliative care fails’ by Andrew Denton published in The Australian 14 July 2017

Click for more on Clive Deverell’s message.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Ian Wood, the national co-ordinator of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia, in a Letter to the Newcastle Herald published 26 April 2017: “It is excellent that palliative care services may be improved in the Hunter and made more readily available. However, I do question the sentence: “Whether in a hospice, a hospital or at home, palliative care can make dying with dignity a reality, and not just a hope.”…. While palliative care is excellent at controlling most symptoms, there are some for whom adequate control is impossible….To make dying with dignity a reality, excellent palliative care and the legal option to choose an assisted death are both required.”

Letter from Ian Wood to the Newcastle Herald published 26 April 2017

Click for all Newcastle Herald letters on 26 April 2017