A vitally important article, A Call To The Palliative Care Community For A Patient-Centered Response to Medical Aid In Dying, by Compassion & Choices president Barbara Coombs Lee and chief program officer Kim Callinan, published in the prestigious journal Health Affairs, in March, 2017.
“We routinely hear from people who praise their palliative care team for the support either they or a loved one received during a serious illness. However, we also quite regularly hear from consumers who do not understand why their palliative care team does not disclose or discuss medical aid in dying as a palliative care option for mentally sound, terminally ill adults in the states where it is authorized. After all, many palliative care teams pride themselves in helping patients and families understand the nature of their illness, making timely, informed decisions about their care and feel in control of their lives. Medical aid in dying — one option on the palliative care spectrum — represents these values to patients and their families, so they do not understand why some palliative care specialists refuse to acknowledge or recognize it.”