The relationship of palliative care with assisted dying where assisted dying is lawful: A systematic scoping review of the literature

Gerson, S. M., Koksvik, G., Richards, N. , Materstvedt, L. J. and Clark, D. (2020) The relationship of palliative care with assisted dying where assisted dying is lawful: A systematic scoping review of the literature. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 59(6), 1287-1303.e1. (doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.12.361) (PMID:31881289)

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Context: A central approach of palliative care has been to provide holistic care for people who are dying, terminally ill or facing life-limiting illnesses while neither hastening nor postponing death. Assisted dying laws allow eligible individuals to receive medically administered or self-administered medication from a health provider to end their life. The implementation of these laws in a growing number of jurisdictions therefore poses certain challenges for palliative care. Objectives: To analyse the research literature about the relationship of assisted dying with palliative care, in countries where it is lawful. Methods: A five-stage scoping review process was adapted from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Data sources searched through October 2018 were MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, and ProQuest dissertations and theses, with additional material identified through hand searching. Research studies of any design were included, but editorials or opinion articles were excluded. Results: After reviewing 5778 references from searches, 105 were subject to full-text review. 16 studies were included: from Belgium (4), Canada (1), Switzerland (2) and the United States (9). We found the relationship between assisted dying and palliative care practices in these locations took varied and sometimes combined forms: supportive, neutral, coexisting, not mutually exclusive, integrated, synergistic, cooperative, collaborative, opposed, ambivalent and conflicted. Conclusion: The studies in this review cast only partial light on challenges faced by palliative care when assisted dying is legal. There is pressing need for more research on the involvement of palliative care in the developing practices of assisted dying, across a growing number of jurisdictions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David and Gerson, Dr Sheri Mila and Materstvedt, Professor Lars and Richards, Dr Naomi and Koksvik, Dr Gitte
Authors: Gerson, S. M., Koksvik, G., Richards, N., Materstvedt, L. J., and Clark, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
ISSN (Online):0885-3924
Published Online:24 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 59(6):1287-1303.e1
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170345Interventions at the end of life: social, historical and comparative analysis to promote global improvement.David ClarkWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)103319/Z/13/ZIS - Interdisciplinary Studies