Contrary to what euthanasia supporters well tell you about dying a painful death, palliative care patients are usually pleasantly surprised by the efficacy of drugs and other techniques to manage pain.
Head of palliative care at Cabrini Hospital, Dr David Kenner, said
although most patients feared pain, the vast majority were pleasantly surprised by the efficacy of drugs and other techniques to manage it.
"It's certainly not as though we have many patients coming in with dreadful symptoms that we can't do anything about," he said. "You definitely know when someone is getting tired of the burden of their illness, but there is a big difference between that and a cogent desire to end their life."
The head of pain and palliative care at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Odette Spruyt, agreed. She said doctors always gave patients the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on life-prolonging treatments, resuscitation, drugs to provide comfort and sedation when they were close to death.