Palliative care and voluntary assisted dying – How the two can best work together to provide optimal end-of-life care
Whether for ourselves or our loved ones, we all want choice and care that is right for us at the end of life. Palliative care and voluntary assisted dying are often portrayed as mutually exclusive – you must choose one or the other. But is this true?
Go Gentle Australia invites you to this free Dying to Know Day webinar:
Not either/or: Palliative care and voluntary assisted dying
How the two can best work together to provide optimal end-of-life care
Wednesday, 2 August 2023, 7 – 8:30 pm (AEST)
Voluntary assisted dying, which allows eligible dying people to seek medical assistance to hasten their death, is now legal in all six Australian states and available in five – with access in NSW to begin in November this year.
Palliative care helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when confronting a life-limiting or terminal illness. It includes specialist care and symptom control when a person is approaching death.
Can these two end-of-life options go hand in hand? Can terminally ill people access both to minimise suffering and achieve a peaceful death?
Answering your questions are:
Dr Sarah Pickstock has worked as a palliative medicine specialist since 1997 across major hospitals, inpatient palliative care (hospice) units and home visits in metro and regional Western Australia. She did her VAD training as soon as the legislation was enacted and has assisted more than 20 people to access assisted dying, all of whom also received high quality palliative care. She sees the two as complementary, not opposed.
Dr Rohan Vora is a palliative medicine specialist based in south-east Queensland and northern NSW. During his training, his mentors taught him to believe strongly in delivering evidence-based and compassionate care. Once VAD became legal in Qld, he completed his VAD training to be able to deliver all end-of-life options chosen by his patients.
Sandi Olney, RN, is the clinical lead for a community palliative care service that delivers in-home palliative care for patients in regional Victoria. She believes in supporting patients to choose the end-of-life care that is right for them, including palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.
Dr Linda Swan, Go Gentle Australia CEO