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Friday, July 23, 2010

We've still got a lot of work to do...

It seems Britain is the best place in the world to die. Canada sits tied with America in 9th place out of 40 countries, based on the results of the newly created Quality of Death Index, which ranks countries according to their provision of end-of-life care. It also shows the best places to die in Canada are Victoria, Edmonton and the Niagara region

Britain topped the index, prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, because it takes hospice and palliative care seriously: It has decided, as a matter of public policy, that the quality of death is as important as the quality of life.

There are four principal reasons for the mediocre showing:
  • End-of-life care is poorly coordinated
  • It is expensive and many services and drugs needed at the end of life are not covered
  • Patient-centred care is lacking - wishes of patients are not respected nearly enough
  • There is a shortage of policy leadership
André Picard from the Globe and Mail writes:
As the quality-of-death report notes, there are many taboos surrounding death that have hampered open discussion of end-of-life care. We have to move beyond the religious sentiment that holds life is sacrosanct, and ensure palliative care so that death is dignified. We also have to make the distinction between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, which relate to a tiny minority of deaths, and the broader concept of hospice/palliative care, which is a must for everyone with a terminal illness.
Patients should be able to expect, as an integral part of their health care, effective pain management, emotional and spiritual support, and comfort and care from compassionate and skillful people who are committed to honouring their dignity.

WE welcome your comments on this article. This news definitely deserves thoughtful, clear discussion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Voice; July 2010 Issue

Below is a link to our July 2010 issue of The Voice

The focus of this issue is on our Annual General Meeting, held on June 05 in Toronto, with summaries of most presentations and questions asked. 

We were happy to have had almost 60 members attend our AGM - however, many more were not able to attend. For those who were not in attendance, we hope you find this summary full and inclusive of topics discussed at the three hour meeting. 

If you were among the members at the AGM, there is also new information for you in this 8 page issue: new Canadian cancer statistics, international news, new Canadian polls, book reviews and more.

If you would like to receive a paper hard-copy, please email us at info@dyingwithdignity.ca