Speaking with doctors in Belgium, the Netherlands and Oregon, I’d learnt that in those places, palliative care and assisted dying are seen as things that go together – and assisting a patient to die may sometimes be the ultimate offer of help for those beyond the skills of even the most dedicated palliative care experts.
Back home in Australia, the law forbids assisted dying. Without a law to protect or guide doctors and nurses, I wondered: how does palliative care here deal with those same kinds of patients?
In episode 10 of Better Off Dead, Andrew spends a week at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital – specifically, at their Sacred Heart palliative care unit – to find out more about how doctors and nurses deal with patients' suffering in Australia.
Please note: this podcast is not about suicide. If you are interested in increasing your understanding of suicide and how to support someone experiencing suicidal ideation, visit the Conversations Matter or beyondblue websites.
If you (or someone you know) require immediate assistance, contact one of the following 24/7 crisis support services: Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), MensLine (1300 78 99 78), beyondblue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or eheadspace (1800 650 890).