Who’s calling palliative care “euthanasia”?

Posted on May 14, 2012

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The One Slide: End of Life Questions

Two basic questions that we have all heard the answers to in one form or another:

  1. Why do you need advance directives?
  2. Why should you consider having a serious talk with family and friends about what your end-of-life wishes are?

Here is another answer that you probably have not thought about – the caring medical staff that takes care of you during the dying process and accusations that can be made against them.

Who’s calling palliative care “euthanasia”?

More than half of palliative care doctors have been told the care they recommended or provided is “murder,” “euthanasia” or “killing.” The frequency of such accusations varies by source and at times includes other doctors.

  • Patient: 25%
  • Patient’s friend or relative: 59%
  • Physician’s friend or relative: 25%
  • Another physician: 56%
  • Another health professional: 57%

Source: “Prevalence of Formal Accusations of Murder and Euthanasia against Physicians,” Journal of Palliative Medicine, March (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22401355/)

Doctors and other caregivers choose to work with those that are dying because they care about their patients.   It is important that we all work to ensure hospice workers know our wishes for the end of our lives and that our families and friends who are there for us understand what those wishes are.

There is a lot of ignorance, even in the medical community about what these doctors and caregivers do so perhaps we can help them out by communicating.

You can fill Medical Advance Directives through an attorney or online and file them with your doctor, hospital and let your family know you have done so and encourage them to do the same.

via End-of-life care: Pain control carries risk of being called a killer – amednews.com.

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