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Getting involved in this year's Palliative Care Week

 

The theme for this year’s National Palliative Care Week was ‘You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference’.

National Palliative Care Week is a national week supported by the Department of Health to raise awareness and understanding about palliative care in the Australian community.

As part of Palliative Care Week and under the banner of “It’s not all black and white”, PHH hosted the Muddy Waters Café, where an opportunity was created for PHH Board, staff, volunteers and auxiliaries to have a café style conversation about the quandary of individuals having the ability to choose voluntary assisted dying or not.

Over 60 guests attended the two hour event that posed some challenging questions for everyone to discuss. Voluntary assisted dying was one of the 49 recommendations from the End of Life Enquiry.

Some of the discussion topics included:

Unbearable suffering—how should society respond to it?

Slippery slope—where do we start, where do we stop?

Safeguards—what safeguards are necessary to ensure that a request is voluntary?

Rights—is assisted dying a moral and legal entitlement?

Existential pain—is existential pain normal?

Family—their role?

Quality of life—where is this in the debate?