Half of Canadians don’t even know what palliative care is

So why is it so important?

Half of Canadians don’t even know what palliative care isA researcher at the University of Alberta is helping to bridge a gap in Canadians’ knowledge about palliative care – and how to plan ahead for it. In a 2016 IPSOS public poll, half of Canadians surveyed said they were unfamiliar with the terms “palliative care” and “advance care planning.” “As patients and families with…

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?

‘This is about the B.C. government destroying a sanctuary for dying patients who want the choice to stay in a facility where MAID is not offered’

What happens when a hospice rejects medical assistance in dying?You might think the middle of a global pandemic is less than an ideal time to disrupt the operations of a hospice where palliative care patients receive comfort as they approach death. If so, you would not share the apparent thinking of the B.C. government or its local Fraser Health Authority, which is forcing layoffs…

Faith leaders oppose changes to MAID law

‘Imposing the intentional taking of human life as a solution to human suffering is unacceptable for a civilized society’

Faith leaders oppose changes to MAID lawMore than 50 leaders across the faith spectrum warn the Liberal government’s changes to medical assistance in dying legislation will pressure vulnerable Canadians to opt for “lethal procedures” over living with illness or disability Equally alarming, says the gloves-off open letter released recently, the alterations contained in the bill known as C-7 will undermine the…

Palliative care suffers because of MAID

Delta Hospice Society has been locked in a lengthy fight with the health authority and the B.C. government, and has now lost its funding

Palliative care suffers because of MAIDDirectors of a Vancouver-area hospice are considering their legal options after the B.C. government abruptly yanked its funding because it doesn’t permit medical assistance in dying (MAID) on the premises. And an Ottawa lawyer engaged by the Delta Hospice Society says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix is simply wrong to claim the facility’s refusal to…

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicide

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicideOver the past three decades, a small palliative care hospice in suburban Vancouver has raised millions of dollars and provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to benefit British Columbia’s health system. Now, the Delta Hospice Society must drop its refusal to provide medical assistance in dying (MAID) for qualifying patients in its care. Or…

Put end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list

People who have conversations about their end-of-life preferences are much more likely to be satisfied with the care received

The new year is a good time to put making end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list. It's a perfect time to tell family and friends your health-care preferences in case one day you're unable to speak for yourself. This advance care planning is good for your peace of mind and for your loved ones,…

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisions

Why you should start talking early to your family and friends about your wishes, and some tools to help you get the conversation started

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisionsBy Sharon Kaasalainen McMaster University and Tamara Sussman McGill University Many people must make critical decisions for family and friends who are at the end of their lives. This can create a great deal of stress and burden. They must navigate the social and health-care systems while coping with their impending loss and grief. A…

Dealing with the deaths of close friends

As much as we may wish to avoid the obvious, there’s increasing likelihood of the death of treasured old pals, neighbours and work associates.

Dealing with the deaths of close friendsAll of us born in the baby boomer era – the period signalling the end of the Second World War – are now in our 60s or early 70s, and sailing into the zone of no return. As much as we may wish to avoid the obvious, there’s increasing likelihood of the death of treasured…

A common-sense approach to eldercare

Acute Care for Elders (ACE) is designed to treat elderly patients in a way that respects their abilities and limitations, speeds healing and promotes safe discharges home

A common-sense approach to eldercareDr. Samir Sinha is Canada’s guru on aging. We should listen carefully to his ideas because 42 per cent of all hospital patients in our country are over 65 and they account for 60 per cent of all hospital days. Senior patients consume 60 per cent of acute-care budgets and almost half of all health-care…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere Canadian Frailty Network Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains…