Misconceptions About Palliative Care

Harvard Health published a helpful article describing the purpose and benefit of palliative care.

There are often misconceptions about what palliative care is and why it can be beneficial. From the beginning of the Palliative/Hospice Care movement, the purpose has always been a holistic approach to address physical, mental, emotional, and existential suffering for both the patient and their family, and to neither hasten nor prolong death. Assisted suicide is not in keeping with this mission, but for so many at the diagnosis of a life-threatening disability and throughout the course of an illness, with inadequate palliative care, a person can feel like they’ve lost their dignity, the ability to do things they used to enjoy, the control of bodily functions, and can have feelings of being a burden of their family and caregivers. 

These existential, disability-related concerns, not physical pain, are the same top reasons why people ask for lethal drugs in assisted suicide legal states. These are the exact issues palliative care is designed to address.

The authors of this article state: “We find that not enough people who could benefit from this care receive it. By addressing misconceptions about what palliative care is and who it can help, we hope more people will ask for the full range of care they deserve, and inquire about whether a referral to palliative care is right for them.”

Patients ought to know their options and be able to receive palliative care, hospice, and other medical services. “People can and should receive palliative care while also receiving curative or life-prolonging treatments.”

Physicians should be ready and willing to provide whatever care possible to prolong the life of their patient.

Matt Vallière in the LA Times

Matt Vallière in the Los Angeles Times Thanks to the LA Times for sharing Matt’s letter, which strongly opposes assisted suicide laws. Read his letter to the editor below: Steve Lopez asks, “Will the option [of assisted suicide] be there for others?” To plaintiffs in the referenced lawsuit and many in the disability, older adult

Read More »

33rd Anniversary of ADA

Celebrating 33 Years of the ADA Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On this day, July 26th, 1990, the ADA was signed and enshrined civil rights protections into law for people with disabilities. Today and every ADA anniversary, the Patients’ Rights Action Fund (PRAF) celebrates the

Read More »

Advocates for Assisted Suicide Begin to Fear the Case in California

Advocates for Assisted Suicide Begin to Fear the Case in California Proponents of assisted suicide are beginning to write articles and speak up about their worries and opposition to the case filed in California to end assisted suicide.  While the initial response to this groundbreaking case was severely delayed, opinion pieces and statements of opposition

Read More »
Scroll to Top