Instead of assisted suicide, invest in better palliative care and hospice services

Instead of assisted suicide, invest in better palliative care and hospice services

 

We write as health care professionals to share our concerns about the proposed legislation for physician-assisted suicide…

Many of our patients experience serious illness and face challenging questions about life and death — the kind of questions we too worry about when thinking about the end of our own lives. We cannot help but ask ourselves: What is the intervention that most corresponds to the needs of those who are suffering? As a society, we need to put best practices in place to ensure comfort and care to all who are dying.

These best practices already exist and are called palliative care and hospice. The problem is that not everyone has access to these essential services, and when they do, it is often too little and too late. We need more of these services so that every patient can die with dignity supported by modern and comprehensive hospice.

The proposed legislation related to physician-assisted suicide carries considerable risks, and its measures could aggravate health care disparities and create diverging tracks for those who can afford the best end-of-life care and those who cannot.

Read the full article at The Boston Globe…