Kelli Stajduhar: The real conversation about death and why we need to have it


Kelli Stajduhar, iPANEL academic lead, has an op-ed in today's Vancouver Sun: The real conversation about death and why we need to have it.

A deadline looms for the Canadian government to change our law on physician-assisted suicide. So it's no surprise that this method of dying, with its deep, polarizing moral questions, is grabbing the headlines.

But few of us will choose it. What we need to talk about is how the vast majority of us will die. We're all going to do this eventually, mostly from age-related causes such as heart and lung disease, cancers and/or dementia. About seven in 10 Canadians will die in hospitals and care homes, without access to the kind of care that would help us live longer and more comfortably than with medical intervention alone.

The crucial discussion we're avoiding is about palliative care. Why is it so far off the public agenda, given it offers us a better way to die?

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