Palliative care physicians support assisted dying

Palliative care physicians support assisted dying

“VAD [voluntary assisted dying] is not part of palliative care as it is currently practiced in Australia…. However, we, as palliative care physicians, would have no ethical problem referring a patient to a qualified practitioner or service where VAD was legally available, if that is what the patient desired. Palliative care and VAD are not, and should never be, mutually exclusive. They can coexist as in other places around the world.”

“From statements by medical professional bodies, it could be construed virtually all doctors oppose VAD. In fact, up to 15 per cent of specialist respondents in a recent survey of palliative medicine doctors agree the option of VAD should be available. Of course, public opinion has been overwhelmingly pro-VAD for a number of years.”

Dr Greg Mewett, Professor Michael Ashby and Professor Peter Martin are palliative care physicians in Ballarat, Hobart and Geelong respectively. Click here for their full opinion piece entitled ‘Voluntary assisted dying: An alternative view’ 11 October 2017

Dr Greg Mewett also have the following letter published in The Age on 22 September 2017

Assisted dying: Choosing to end your life (and suffering)
“…As an experienced palliative care physician, and part of a specialised, multi-disciplinary team, I try my utmost to relieve people’s suffering. Unfortunately, despite excellent palliative care, not all suffering can be relieved, and indeed not all terminally ill patients choose to seek our help. This small minority of patients, I believe, deserve a legally available option to end their life (and suffering) at a time and in a manner of their choosing. This would not undermine good palliative care, which will always be the “main game” in end of life care and should be funded accordingly. Doctors do not always know what is best in these difficult situations and well-informed people deserve an alternative option which is currently denied them.”
Click for DWD post ‘Doctors speak out on assisted dying

Click to support the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.