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Thinking about End of Life

By johnboy - 13 August 2013 24

Chief Minister Gallagher is kicking off a long overdue discussion on end of life issues. With a forum report on the issue:

new report on end of life issues has called for increased community engagement and awareness on end of life care and suggested some clarification to the laws dealing with advance care directives, Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, said today.

The Chief Minister welcomed the release of the final report from the ACT Local Hospital Network Council Forum on end of life issues and decision-making.

“End of life care is an area of our health system that is often not discussed widely in public, but is something that is a very important aspect of managing an illness for many people in our community,” the Chief Minister said.

“I was pleased to open the Local Hospital Network’s forum on end of life issues back in May this year, and welcome this report containing six recommendations that stemmed from this forum.”

The key recommendations include:

— Greater involvement and understanding across the community in end of life care issues;

— increased information and awareness of the usefulness and benefits of advance care planning;

— create a greater acceptance of the value and importance of advance care planning amongst all careers and professionals in end of life settings and support training to increase their adoption;

— clarify and simplify the legal framework for advance care planning and move towards a common framework and set of documents for them;

— take steps to make advance care planning easily available and ensure that when they done they are acted upon;

— options in end of life situations should be openly discussed so that futile care can be recognised and patients directed to the most appropriate care and palliatiation.

Now if we can just get serious about euthanasia maybe we can stop wasting 90% of the vast health budget on the last sixth months of life.

Give me a six month prognosis, let me set a date and any friends or family who want to say goodbye can make appropriate arrangements, I can read the obits, and check out on schedule.

Better than months of being carved up by surgeons and gasping through tubes.

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Thinking about End of Life
ScienceRules 3:02 pm 13 Aug 13

Masquara said :

“end of life” – that would be DEATH, no? How very Orwellian.

The term “end of life” as used in medicine today usually refers to the process of dying, the treatments and palliatiave care available to the patient and the involvement of friends and family. The transition from “normal” life to death can take months and since we’re particularly bad at talking about it in our society (witness almost all the comments above), it great that this awareness campaign is under way.

It’s an important discussion to have with your family, as uncomfortable as it might be. It’s also important to have an enduring power of attorney to cover your health choices and also to have made crystal clear, in writing, just how you want to be treated if your death isn’t an unexpected “lights out” event.

Masquara 2:46 pm 13 Aug 13

Tetranitrate said :

PoQ said :

We wouldn’t allow animals to go through what we regularly drag people through.

Euthanasing humans is more complicated than euthanasing animals for social reasons – not being speciesist here, but it has to be taken into account that animals don’t have financial assets and aren’t potentially prey to greedy relatives …

poetix 2:04 pm 13 Aug 13

If you don’t think about death most days, you’re just drifting. It’s just around the corner (-:

switch 1:26 pm 13 Aug 13

“Nobody gets out of here alive.”

johnboy 12:57 pm 13 Aug 13

justin heywood said :

“…maybe we can stop wasting 90% of the vast health budget on the last sixth months of life…”

I’ve seen raise that factoid before Johnboy. A quick Google search brings up various values, including a claim that your figure something of an urban myth.

So, dare I ask….source?

I read it in Crikey, and have had it confirmed by health officials in person when asked about it.

Tetranitrate 12:45 pm 13 Aug 13

PoQ said :

I thougt it was Kant, but apparently it’s Szasz:

“…Philosopher and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz goes further, arguing that suicide is the most basic right of all. If freedom is self-ownership – ownership over one’s own life and body – then the right to end that life is the most basic of all. If others can force you to live, you do not own yourself and belong to them…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_suicide

Pretty much, and denying people the option of painless and dignified death is unbelievably cruel. We wouldn’t allow animals to go through what we regularly drag people through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdxd_EFDd4s

FioBla 12:39 pm 13 Aug 13

Be in a Chuck Norris movie.

PoQ 12:22 pm 13 Aug 13

I thougt it was Kant, but apparently it’s Szasz:

“…Philosopher and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz goes further, arguing that suicide is the most basic right of all. If freedom is self-ownership – ownership over one’s own life and body – then the right to end that life is the most basic of all. If others can force you to live, you do not own yourself and belong to them…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_suicide

justin heywood 12:21 pm 13 Aug 13

“…maybe we can stop wasting 90% of the vast health budget on the last sixth months of life…”

I’ve seen raise that factoid before Johnboy. A quick Google search brings up various values, including a claim that your figure something of an urban myth.

So, dare I ask….source?

Masquara 12:20 pm 13 Aug 13

“end of life” – that would be DEATH, no? How very Orwellian.

johnboy 11:44 am 13 Aug 13

more about the point up unto death guys, not immediately after!

rosscoact 11:39 am 13 Aug 13

Frozen then into a wood chipper at 3000 feet over Canberra. Rossco rain for everyone

PBO 11:25 am 13 Aug 13

When my time comes, I would like to be snap frozen and flung into space only to be brought back 500 years later ………Buck Roger’s style.

“In the year 2014, the Australian’s cheaper version of NASA launched the last of their deep space probes. Aboard this compact starship, a lone astronaut……. Captain P “Buck” BO…….. was to experience cosmic forces beyond all comprehension. In a freak mishap, his life support systems were frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. Ranger 3 was blown out of its planned trajectory into an orbit one thousand times more vast, an orbit which was to return PBO to Earth…… 500 years later…..”

Da DA DA, Da Da DA DAD DA, Dad Da Daaaa……….

Postalgeek 11:12 am 13 Aug 13

When my time comes, I would love to be given some sleeping pills, placed in a casket packed with high explosives, then placed in an old car, or by a group of letterboxes, or whatever, and blow some shit up. It’ll give my paid mourner something to cheer about too. Euthanasia and disposal all taken care of.

I’ll have to give some thoughts to where I’d like to be euthanised.

FioBla 10:23 am 13 Aug 13

Death panels!

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