Representation of 'Palliative Care' in Assisted Dying/Euthanasia Declarations

Inbadas, H. , Zaman, S., Whitelaw, A. and Clark, D. (2017) Representation of 'Palliative Care' in Assisted Dying/Euthanasia Declarations. 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Madrid, Spain, 18 - 20 May 2017.

143091.pdf - Accepted Version



Background: The production of 'declarations' (formal, public statements to influence policy, raise awareness and call others to action) is increasing in the end of life care field. Several declarations have been issued on ‘assisted dying/euthanasia’ but have not yet been analysed systematically. Aim: To map the emergence of assisted dying/euthanasia declarations in the international context and to establish the representation of palliative care in these declarations. Methods: A two stage search strategy was used: 1) Systematic searches using the Google search engine to identify assisted dying/euthanasia declarations 2) Websites of key organisations were searched. Content analysis was employed to explore the characteristics of the identified declarations and to examine references to ‘palliative care’. Results: 61 assisted dying/euthanasia declarations (1974 to 2016), 22 since 2011, were identified. Their geographic scope was global (18), international (2), national (38), regional (2). Two thirds of the declarations were against assisted dying/euthanasia. The issuing organisations were: healthcare related (28), religious (16), lobbyist (12), political (3). Twelve declarations were issued by 14 palliative care organisations and 41 declarations made reference to palliative care. Palliative care references included: describing palliative care, clarifying it excludes assisted dying/euthanasia, demonstrating it can eliminate suffering, expressing concerns about the implications for palliative care of legalising assisted dying/euthanasia, and demanding access to and resources for palliative care. Conclusions: Declarations relating to assisted dying/euthanasia represent the views and demands of diverse communities. The value of palliative care in eliminating suffering at the end of life is recognised in the declarations, whether or not they support assisted dying/euthanasia. Despite divided opinions, ‘palliative care’ forms a significant part of the discussion on legalising assisted dying/euthanasia.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David and Inbadas, Reverend D Hamilton and Zaman, Dr Shahaduz and Whitelaw, Dr Alexander
Authors: Inbadas, H., Zaman, S., Whitelaw, A., and Clark, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Research Group:Glasgow End of Life Studies Group
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Authors
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
645151Interventions at the end of life: social, historical and comparative analysis to promote global improvement.David ClarkWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)103319/Z/13/ZIS - INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES