CARP End-Of-Life Care Report

September 9th, 2010

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CARP members are strongly in favour of palliative end-of-life care, and are in favour of government support for a better “quality of death” in Canada, but they also strongly support physician-assisted suicide, a decision they believe should be made between a patient and his or her doctor. They expect palliative and end-of-life care to be funded by the government.

More than half of CARP members have experienced a death in the family in the past three years, and in three quarters of these cases, the patient died at a hospital or nursing home, this despite the fact that two thirds of members wish to die at home.

In almost two thirds of the deaths members mention, the patient received palliative end-of-life care, more likely in a hospice than at home.

Members agree the government should support a better “quality of death” in Canada, and they agree that palliative care in the home should be funded as a way to free up hospital beds and effect cost reforms. The vast majority expect the government to play some role in funding palliative care, should they choose it.

While two thirds of members want to die at home, fewer than half this proportion actually expect to, and the plurality expect to die in a hospital or nursing home.

Two thirds of members have made plans for their end-of-life care, either through a Living Will or a DNR order or both. Two thirds of members have signed organ donor cards and one third have considered leaving their entire body to science.

The wide majority of members support the idea of physician-assisted suicide, and most believe this to be a decision to be made solely between a patient and his or her doctor.

The Conservatives lead the Liberals by 10 points, a slight decrease since the last wave of polling. The NDP has recovered from a temporary dip in member support.

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