Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Comments | Decisions at the end of life: have we come of age? full free access - open for commentary
Congratulations to the authors for addressing the issue of changing values and needs of patients at the close of life. Most North American studies on this topic err in their original suppositions regarding the preferred place of death. Generally the focus has been institutional and cost based as opposed to the values and ethics of yes, human dignity in dying. Specific to the needs of oncology patients/families, it is often disturbing to view reports asking citizens where they wish to die when we should know and understand that this answer cannot be of any value until those patients and families are 'in the moment'. The moment-to-moment changes in physical and emotional changes in cancer patients/families and all of the psycho-physio changes require that our systems adapt. Numerous real life examples of institutional/provider interference in the wishes of the dying are disturbingly unconscionable. The question which needs to be addressed is: 'Who's on 'first'?" Having witnessed circumstances where best practices were not followed in favour of cost analyses, we have to ask ourselves who will say no to money before suffering?
ovarian cancer survivor, Lynch Syndrome