Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Euthanasia, not the way to go...Palliative care alleviates the fear of a painful death

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.


eutychus said...

There is another discussion here concerning palliative care that is too long to go into here. Namely, there are those who warn that some palliative care e.g. morphine can actually accelerate the dying process. Thus, euthanasia disguised as palliative care.

Secular Heretic said...

I think it gets down to purpose eutychus. Give enough morphine to alleviate the pain even if it will eventually kill the patient. The primary purpose is to alleviate pain, the unfortunate consequence is possible death.

With euthanasia the primary purpose is to kill the patient painlessly.

Two different purposes, one to kill painlessly and the other to alleviate pain.