A Good Death

by MSO

Palliative care focuses on living until the end, not dying. Jonathon Swift gives this maxim,"May you live all the days of your life".

While many see life and death as separated by a clear line that is either crossed or not, a transition is clearly present for those in palliative care. Palliative care is the special care given to a person whose disease has been diagnosed as terminal. Palliative care does not speed up death nor does it delay it, it just lets death come naturally. The goals of palliative care are to ease pain, help the person have a clear mind and understanding of the end of life process and also to have support system available to the person, their family and friends.

The Australian ABC program ‘Four Corners’ took a look at the state of palliative care in Australia with a program called ‘A Good Death’. The program watches the end of life process for four terminally ill patients. The bulk of the program takes place at Sacred Heart, a palliative care center. In an interview with a doctor from the local hospital and the head of the intensive care unit, it’s revealed that much of the intensive care patients are really in need of a different level of care that Sacred Heart might be able to provide, but that the hospital cannot.

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20100208/palliative/

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