Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

People’s end-of-life ambivalence: expecting ‘something to be done’ and wanting ‘to be made comfortable’

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I’m beginning to sound like a cracked record this week. Here’s another survey, this time from Vancouver. It makes the point that most people do not talk to their families or doctors about their end-of-life wishes. They also misunderstand what the doctors are going to do. The study reported here found that a third of patients in hospital simply wanted to be made comfortable as death approaches, but their  ‘code status’ meant that their doctors had decided to go the whole hog to rescue them from death if they took a turn for the worse. People say they do not want ‘heroic’ measure to save them: but what do they understand by heroic?

One the other hand, many people hope and expect that something can be done for them: they do not actually compose themselves to die comfortably. And that’s one of the problems with the assumptions of the assisted dying campaigners. They assume that people are like the articulate supporters of assisted dying, who are comfortable with being allowed to die. But such a lot of people aren’t.

The link to the Vancouver Sun article: A need to plan for end-of-life care.


Written by Malcolm Payne

2 August 2012 at 12:08 pm

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