Opponents of assisted suicide urge lawmakers to focus on improving access to quality palliative care and assisted living for the seriously ill, not assisted dying. This is especially relevant given the last 20 years of data out of Oregon showing that the top 5 reasons patients go through with assisted suicide have to do with existential suffering, not fear of physical pain or suffering. We should be providing better care, not abandoning the most vulnerable members of society and killing patients at their greatest time of need.
This new study is a good example of how high quality palliative care not only helps alleviate symptoms, but improves quality of life for patients.
“For more than 200 chronically ill patients in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, doctors make house calls. This specialized program has resulted in significantly fewer emergency department visits and extended hospital stays.
Most importantly, Facey Medical Group’s palliative care program has increased patients’ satisfaction with their medical care and helped improve their quality of life. Palliative care helps patients manage symptoms to alleviate the need for acute care.
‘It’s quite simply the right thing to do. People facing health challenges most often are much happier at home, and we wanted to do our part to make that possible,’ said Fredrick Russo, M.D., who recently retired as Facey’s president and CEO. Dr. Russo is credited with championing the plan.
A case study of the program and its results was published recently by Duke University’s Margolis Center for Health Policy.
This community-based service provides home visits, after-hour access, education, regular check-ins by phone, social work and chaplaincy support as requested…The care team works with patients and their families on goals of care to improve quality of life…”
Read more at SCVNews.com