Death is a normal part of life.
I therefore argue that like birth, death is something that should be budgeted for by health services and the dying should never be treated as though they are an unwanted burden on society.
Dying people are still people and should never be treated as less than human. Dying people are also often sick people. When dying people are sick, they should get the same care and support that other sick people get. They should never be pushed out of sight into the palliative care corner only to be neglected and forgotten because they are seen as unimportant. They should never be unwelcome at hospitals, their sickness is just as real and their pain just as sharp as that of any other patient.
If hospitals are under resourced then this is not the fault of the patient with cancer, it is the fault of politicians who fail to plan. Today we are told that palliative care as early as possible is best. But why should a person have their hope stripped away months or years before they need end of life care. I have seen how much extra stress early palliative care can cause. One should never be forced to accept palliative care just to get pain treated.
I do not argue for over treatment or futile treatments, but I argue for a high standard of medical care for all sick people. Palliative care patients are just as important as anyone else and so like everyone else they should have access to qualified doctors and not be forced to rely on nurses and junior team doctors.
Australia is losing it’s compassion and moving into a world of ageism and of victim blaming. No one chooses to die young from cancer, they should never be told they are a burden to the health system.
Politicians look for excuses not to maintain Australia’s health system and move towards an American style health system , and this is by no means anything to be proud of, or anything that should be accepted.
( written after an experience with a Brisbane public health system )
Photo by Michael Gaida via Pixabay