Opinion

If not now, when? Applying a palliative approach in long-term care

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4 Comments
  • Toby Stewart says:

    Palliative Care (PC) is just one of two medically-assisted End-of-Life (EOL) procedures to which any Canadian citizen should have access at the time and place of their choosing.
    However, the other Consitutionally-Protected EOL medical procedure is MAiD — which unfortunately two successive federal political administrations have failed to accept, de-criminalize and de-stigmatize.
    MAiD should also be provided on the same Charter-protected basis as PC –to any citizen (whether in LTC or otherwise) once that informed choice has been communicated by them.
    To advocate public EOL investments in only LTC PC –and not equally in LTC MAiD– will not serve Canadians well — is shortsighted and is contrary to our Charter — which is the supreme “Rule of Law” in Canada.
    Please put MAiD and PC on equal footing, with equal public funding in LTC, and offer both to anyone nearing their EOL so that they may make a fair and informed choice as to which medically-assisted death they prefer.
    (They may also choose to have neither of these — and that also could be their informed choice.)

  • Douglas Faulder says:

    Currently in long term care in Edmonton, 85% of residents die in place, 15% in acute care. It is a Quality Indicator that we track.
    Dr. Douglas Faulder
    Medical Director, Continuing Care
    Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services

  • Margaret says:

    Excellent idea. Our elders deserve it. It can be done.

    • Judith Wahl says:

      A requirement to provide palliative care has been in the Ontario Long Term Care Homes Act for many years but the ltc licensees both for profit and non profit have ignored this legislated requirement. The various governments in power over the years who are responsible for the regulatory oversight and enforcement of the legislation have also failed to require compliance with this provision. This is a sad comment and evidence of the way care of older adults is ignored. Many people across the country who have been horrified by what has happened in this sector during the time of Covid keep on asking for requirements that ltc homes provide adequate care to residents that meet their needs, provide training to staff to meet these care needs, ensure that there is sufficient PPE and other equipment necessary for this care yet all these requirements appear in legislation,at least in Ontario, but may also be there in the legislation in other provinces. This hasn’t worked . Why?

      Why do health care practitioners, licensees, other care staff and the governments responsible for regulation and enforcement feel that it’s okay to ignore the law which seems to require a level of care and attention to these residents that everyone seems to think is necessary. I’m tired of hearing how everyone is doing their best when the law seems to have been blatantly ignored by all involved.

      If anyone can give me the answer to this, I’d love to talk to them .

      Feel free to contact me at wahlelderlaw@gmail.com.

      I’ve been an advocate and lawyer for changes in this sector to improve the care within ltc for the last 40 years and I see the same problems I saw on my first day working in this area as I see now.

Authors

Denise S. Cloutier

Contributor

Denise S. Cloutier, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Geography and Research Fellow, Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Kelli Stajduhar

Contributor

Kelli Stajduhar, RN, PhD, is a Professor, School of Nursing and Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria, British Columbia.